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Tourism to Contribute to Revival of Economy

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Wednesday, 12 November 2008

There will be no tourism tsunami were the rallying words of Francesco Frangialli at the World Travel Market Ministers Summit at ExCeL London.

The retiring Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) claimed that tourism will survive with the support of its own strength.

We do not need a stimulus package for the industry, Mr Frangialli said. When the time comes, tourism will contribute to the revival of the economy as a whole.

For 2008, the outlook is not negative. International arrivals up to the end of August registered a steady increase of 3.8% on an annual basis. Whatever happens, there will be positive growth in real terms

The migration of the crisis from the financial economy to the real economy presents various consequences for our sector. As far as households are concerned, it is clear that those that have suffered a sharp depreciation in their assets will be inclined to reduce consumption, including their spending on transport and leisure.

Given such circumstances, we are worried but we are not giving into panic. Our conviction is that tourism will dampen the impact of the crisis and not accentuate or accelerate its effects.

He pointed to the increased flows from emerging countries for example 40 million Chinese travelled to the rest of the world in 2007 and more are predicted in 2008 and 2009.

The need to travel, to engage in leisure, to go on holidays, is now so deeply ingrained in the minds of people that consumers do whatever they can to continue to do so, Mr Frangialli added.

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