Tourism leaders predict continued growth
Dubai, January 22, 2008
Travel and tourism industry has signalled continued growth rates for 2008 despite the fact that it will be moderately impacted by repercussions of the ongoing global credit crunch, according to industry business leaders.
A recent research produced by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Oxford Economics (OE) highlighted that travel and tourism has entered this recent period on the back of another solid performance in 2007.
“Tourism growth has been particularly rapid in developing countries in 2007 with the fastest average growth in tourism arrivals in the Middle East region at 12.9 per cent, according to UNWTO. These countries are not only recognising the development potential of travel and tourism and therefore investing heavily in new infrastructure and facilities but their citizens are also seeing rapid economic growth boost their incomes beyond the level where international travel becomes both a feasible and desired option,” said president of WTTC Jean-Claude Baumgarten.
Baumgarten's statement came at a media briefing held during a flash visit to Dubai as part of preparations to the World Travel and Tourism Council's Summit.
The global event will be held in Dubai in April 2008 under the patronage of vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
“A continued policy for tourism has helped Dubai’s travel and tourism industry accelerate and this growth will help it also rise above the potential economic downturn,” said director general of Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Khalid bin Sulayem.
On a global scale, international tourism arrivals increased in this year by nearly six per cent, totalling to nearly 900 million tourists and marking the fourth successive year that arrivals’ growth has exceeded its long-standing trend of four per cent (source: UNWTO).
The research developed by the WTTC & OE indicated that tourism spending per capita incomes has more than matched these increases. International air passenger traffic also rose from year to year in November rose at a record 9.3 per cent (source: IATA).
Nonetheless, the travel and Tourism industry will face challenges in the year ahead. The deteriorating economic conditions, particularly in the housing and credit markets across the globe are increasing concerns for the industry. However, the slowdown is likely to have a limited impact, due to the growth of emerging markets and the easing in monetary policy by central banks.
Higher energy prices are a two-pronged challenge as they squeeze household budgets globally and raise the cost of a key input for the travel and tourism industry.
Dubai Strategic Plan for the year 2015 has identified tourism as one of the leading catalysts for the emirate's economic development. Dubai has achieved remarkable success as a favorite destination for regional and international tourists.
In recognition of Dubai Government's vision and commitment, Dubai has been chosen to host this year’s Global Travel & Tourism Summit. The event will be sponsored by pioneering Travel & Tourism companies including DTCM, Emirates Group, Jumeirah International, Nakheel and Dubailand.
The 8th Global Travel & Tourism Summit will be hosted by the Jumeirah Group and will take place from April 20 to 22, 2008, and will be the world’s most significant public/ private partnership with the objective of driving the agenda on responsibility and the key role that Travel & Tourism plays. - TradeArabia News Service