At a special meeting convened by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
last Friday, industry leaders discussed the need to capture the considerable growth opportunities which have emerged for UK Travel & Tourism. According to research by WTTC and Accenture, Travel & Tourism
represents 9.4% of the UK 's gross domestic product and accounts for 2.6 million jobs.
In 2006, global Travel & Tourism is expected to grow by 4.6%, continuing at a rate of 4.2% per annum over the next ten years.
Globalization and increasingly strong economies in many developed and developing countries, including China and India , along with improved
accessibility and information for travellers continue to stimulate tourism growth. UK Travel & Tourism Demand, currently
the sixth largest in the world, is expected to grow at 3.1% per annum over the next ten years.
Baumgarten, WTTC President said, “Our research shows UK Travel & Tourism is in a strong position and is poised to do well over the
coming decade. However, there is no room for complacency. As more and more governments appreciate Travel & Tourism as a key social and
economic driver, competitive stakes will rise.”
WTTC's Tourism Satellite Accounting (TSA) research is undertaken annually for 174 countries with research partner Oxford Economic Forecasting
(OEF). Since 2006, the research has been sponsored by Accenture.
the WTTC, the UK 's ability to take advantage of the upcoming 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games depends on immediate and
synchronized action by the private and public sectors to address key issues.
Mr Baumgarten highlighted the fact that the UK, particularly London, is perceived by many travellers to be an expensive destination, and he called
for a coordinated and well-funded marketing effort to assure visitors that they will receive value for their money. He also emphasized that better
regulation, intelligent taxation and a wider understanding of Travel & Tourism's economic value amongst ministries and Regional Development
Agencies would further support the industry's growth.
“Most importantly, if the full potential of Travel & Tourism growth in the UK is to be realized over the coming years, it is crucial that infrastructure is
developed accordingly. This includes airport capacity, accommodation stock and transport infrastructure,” continued Mr
Talking about the impact of the 2012 Games on UK Travel & Tourism, Mr Baumgarten said, “It is clear that the Olympics will provide a huge
opportunity for the UK . Nevertheless, clear planning and resource allocation are necessary to ensure that an Olympic legacy for tourism is
Paul Deighton, Chief Executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) said, “Hosting the Games in
2012 is a huge opportunity for the UK tourism trade. It will be a catalyst for the industry as a worldwide global event, with millions of visitors
expected to the UK . The event will showcase London and the UK and we will provide a fantastic welcome for the world. Hosting the Games is a
once in a lifetime opportunity that should not pass us by.”
“Insight into how and where the Travel & Tourism industry is growing is critical for companies that want to improve their performance and take
advantage of that growth,” said Alex Cruz, Managing Partner, Accenture's European Travel Services practice. “As all segments – airlines, lodging
companies and tour operators – work to improve their bottom lines, having usable data about both the industry and their own business is essential.
The travel industry's high performers will be those that can use industry and customer data to make meaningful decisions.”
Held on board the Silver Cloud cruise ship,
the special WTTC meeting signified the growing stake of cruise lines in the UK 's Travel & Tourism
economy. Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, Chairman, Silversea Cruises, commented, “Silversea Cruises is delighted to host this prestigious event.
Cruising is one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors offering a diverse, high-quality and innovative experience for more than 15 million
passengers a year. The United Kingdom is now the world's second largest cruise market, with more than 1 million passengers in 2005.”
other recent news regarding:
Travel & Tourism Council, Research,