Members of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
met earlier this week with the Brazilian Minister of Tourism, Luiz
Barretto and President of Embratur, Jeanine Pires, along with high-level
representatives of the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina and other key
business leaders, to unveil the theme of the 9th Global Travel & Tourism
Summit: 'Real Partnerships - Energising Economies'.
Speaking at the launch event, WTTC's President
and CEO Jean-Claude Baumgarten outlined WTTC's provisional
estimates for the industry's economic impact in 2008 and 2009.
"The deterioration in the macroeconomic
environment and the marked slowdown in the monthly indicators of
tourism activity in the last months of 2008 resulted in a much
more pronounced cycle in Travel & Tourism Economy GDP than
envisaged in January 2008," Baumgarten said.
"The relatively resilient first-half 2008
performance, plus the lead time between holiday bookings and
actual vacations, suggest the impact on growth in 2008 will have
been limited," he added, "although our preliminary estimates
indicate that Travel & Tourism Economy GDP increased by just 1%
last year - two percentage points below our January 2008
"The global economic impact on Travel & Tourism
will nevertheless be much greater in 2009. Travel & Tourism
Economy GDP is now expected to contract this year, by around
3.5%," Baumgarten said. "Moreover, even this forecast - like
macroeconomic prospects generally - carries downside risks."
"There is no doubt that the Travel & Tourism
Industry is facing significant challenges in the year ahead,"
Baumgarten warned. "And this makes public-private partnership even
more critical, especially given the current economic climate and
the many other uncertain variables that could affect the outlook."
The theme of the 9th Global Travel & Tourism
Summit, which will be held in Santa Catarina's state capital,
Florianópolis, is therefore all the more pertinent, and it has
been acclaimed as an exemplary public-private partnership as it
will bring together national, state and local governments from
Brazil and other parts of the world, together with leaders of the
private sector from every continent.
In welcoming the Summit to Brazil, Jeanine Pires,
President of Embratur, said, "The Government of Brazil, Embratur,
the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism and the State of Santa Catarina
have partnered with WTTC to realise the world's highest-level
gathering of global industry leaders to discuss ways in which the
industry can overcome the economic downturn and play a role in re-energising
Announcing his commitment to the Summit, Luiz
Mór, the TAP Executive Board Member responsible for the
Commercial, Sales, Marketing and Communications departments at
TAP, the national flag carrier of Portugal said, "TAP is delighted
to join the prestigious list of Summit partners and we look
forward to providing the level of service and commitment to the
Summit participants in which we at TAP pride ourselves."
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