Tourism Confronting the Economic Downturn

Objavljeno: 2.3.2009

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Tourism Confronting the Economic Downturn

The tourism industry can play a relevant post-crisis role. The sector has been negatively affected by the economic downturn and in all likelihood will continue to be in the short to medium term. This is not however the first time that tourism has suffered a setback and, if handled correctly, it looks set to bounce back stronger than before.

Tourism Confronting the Economic Downturn

The tourism industry can play a relevant post-crisis role. The sector has been negatively affected by the economic downturn and in all likelihood will continue to be in the short to medium term. This is not however the first time that tourism has suffered a setback and, if handled correctly, it looks set to bounce back stronger than before.

This is one of the conclusions of the first meeting of the UNWTO Tourism Resilience Committee (TRC), which set guidelines for the tourism sector to overcome the current situation.

Essential conclusions of the TRC include:
• A swift course of action while keeping in mind the differences among specific tourism destinations.
• Greater cooperation amongst tourism stakeholders. History has demonstrated that crises can also provide opportunities as they call for substantial efforts and industry solidarity;
• Innovation in areas such as product development, marketing, distribution, human resources training, and all regional and national policies;
• Improved and more substantial market information: there are tools available to improve the system of data collection, market intelligence, and analysis. This area must be developed to provide a clearer overall picture and allow quicker more effective action; and
• Long term challenges: if short term crisis response is aligned with the current long term issues i.e. global poverty and climate challenges, the overall industry structure will be strengthened.

UNWTO Secretary-General ad interim, Taleb Rifai says that “It is not possible to asses how long the economic crisis will last, nor the extent of the downturn and its full impact on tourism. What is clear is that tourism can play a critical role in the recovery process as a sector with a unique resurgence capacity and an immense potential in terms of employment creation and sustainability. UNWTO’s Tourism Resilience Committee will precisely monitor the evolving economic situation and its effects on tourism. The Committees second meeting at ITB Berlin will provide further guidance to the sector.”
In the face of the economic downturn the tourism industry is expected to continue its decline– at least in the short to medium term. The UNWTO expects International tourism to stagnate (0%) or even decline slightly (-1% to -2%) throughout 2009.

For a video-summary on the first TRC meeting (Madrid, Spain, 28 January 2009)go to http://www.unwto.org/videogallery/index.php?ruta=trc.

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