UNWTO predicts stagnant tourism growth
Dubai, January 19, 2009
The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) have forecast stagnant growth in global tourism.
The WTTC expects a downward shift in global Travel and Tourism Economy GDP contribution to one per cent for 2009, in contrast to ten per cent in 2008.
In the wake of such gloomy predictions, Jonathan Worsley, co-organiser of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), stressed that it was prudent for hospitality leaders to join hands and work together in managing the destination as a whole, and not just the projects under their remit.
“It is again time to look at destination management as a collaborative effort and not just at individual property or project management. Industry leaders need to discuss the big picture and look at how they can collectively manage in-bound traffic and maintain consumer spending levels,” he said.
However, WTTC also expects the Middle East to buck this trend, suggesting that regional tourism will grow by one per cent in 2009. This would place the Middle East as the second growth region in world, behind Asia.
“The region’s tourism and hospitality leaders need to be particularly alert in these unprecedented times. With tourism long-since stamped as the catalyst of economic growth for a number of regional markets, the sector needs to be quick off the mark and show maturity in handling the current cycle,” he said.
The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2009, to be held from May 2 to 4, is organised by Bench Events and MEED.
"This year’s AHIC theme ‘The Challenge of Maintaining Growth’ is quite apt at a time when target setting is presently a moveable feast," he added.-TradeArabia News Service