How tourism can prosper in times of uncertainty
Nearly 90 ministers and their aides participated to the fifth UNWTO & WTM Ministers Summit at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, on November, 8.
Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General, opened the session underlining that despite the global uncertainty, tourism has performed well during the first eight months of 2011. International arrivals are up by 4.5% compared with the same period last year.
In order to enhance the social and economic benefits of tourism, the Ministers called governments for a closer cooperation with each other and with the private sector over visas, taxation, aviation agreements and marketing.
During the discussion it was also stressed the importance of cooperation between tourism ministers and other departments, especially on travel advisories and taxation. The participants underlined also the need to strengthen the cooperation with finance ministries.
Taleb Rifai concluded the meeting reminding that the tourism industry is growing during the most severe economic crisis of a generation, and that the number of international tourists in 2012 would break through the one billion barrier. “This growth so far this year is astonishing, but if the industry could work more closely together, even more benefits could emerge, and this will not require any additional investment.”