At the Third Tourism Working Group meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC), SW Associates President Scott Wayne and Senior Tourism Consultant Manuel Knight presented a comprehensive report on tourism investment globally and in COMCEC’s 57 member countries.
Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and can be an important engine for sustainable economic growth, employment and incomes, as well as a source of resources for protecting and preserving cultural heritage and biodiversity. And as an industry focused on bringing people together, it can also be a way to foster better communication, understanding and peace between people of varying cultures and ethnic backgrounds. Lastly, relative to other sectors such as manufacturing, tourism offers lower barriers of entry for entrepreneurs and businesses at all levels in both developed and emerging economies. For many destination economies and investors, tourism has proven to be one of the best and most accessible investments. And, based on past trends and forecasts, it will continue to be an important economic driver. This has been proven around the world and as the following study describes, COMCEC member countries, as a group, are not yet fully tapping their tourism potential and opportunities for tourism investment.
This study is divided into five main chapters with Chapter One focusing on a conceptual framework for tourism investment, including the benefits and risks of tourism investment. Chapter Two presents the general outlook of the tourism investments in the COMCEC Region including major tourism investment trends. Chapter Three presents four sets of key challenges for tourism investment in the COMCEC region. Chapter Four presents some success stories from the COMCEC Region as well as the world in general. Finally, Chapter Five proposes some recommendations for creating an enabling environment for the tourism investments.