The World Travel Market (WTM) finished last week with almost 48,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press in attendance. The WTM was a veritable candy store of seminars, press conferences and exhibitor activities — far more than was humanly possible to absorb. However, a few issues seemed to dominate some of the discussions. Here are just a few highlights:
- The World Travel and Tourism Council downgraded its forecasts for tourism growth. Click here for more information.
- WTTC President David Scowsill again called for scrapping the UK Air Passenger Duty, which has been cited as discriminatory and counter-productive. Here’s a link for more information.
- WTTC is also pushing for a universal electronic visa scheme, which would make it easier to travel globally and reduce processing costs for governments, the travel industry and travelers.
- Strong Ministers of Tourism from Egypt and Tunisia were at WTM pushing hard to regain market share and more strongly reposition their destinations. Free elections in both countries seem to show that all parties support rejuvenated tourism sectors.
- The UN World Tourism Organization is forecasting 1.8 billion international tourist arrivals by 2030– a staggering number that requires even more attention to planning and strategies for sustainable tourism development.
- UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai also said that the Organization is forecasting that by 2015 emerging economies will be receiving more international tourist arrivals than advanced economies.
- WTM reported on the opening day that the industry should watch for fast growth among increasing outbound travel from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Argentina — the SLIMMA countries!
Watch this space for more highlights…