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UNWTO presents key trends in global tourism

In 2017 the industry reported close to two billion tourism arrivals worldwide, or put another way each person on the planet undertook 1.6 trips. What does that figure mean in the context of the global economy and what trends can be deduced from qualified and in-depth studies? In her keynote speech at the ITB City Tourism Forum Dr. Song Rui, director of the Academy of Social Sciences of the People’s Republic of China, summarised the findings of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and outlined the key global tourism trends which she forecasts for 2018. “There is rapid and widespread growth in the global tourism industry“, was Dr. Song’s key message, “and investment in this sector is increasing significantly.“ It is the Asian-Pacific region that benefits most from this growth and where investment is highest. Emerging countries, in particular the BRIC countries, are growing particularly fast.

Cities also play an important role in the global tourism industry, and growth there is also above average. Tourism will change significantly due to the influence of modern technology. Internet-based services, the Internet of Things, blockchains and virtual reality were just some of the examples Dr. Song quoted. Despite the generally positive outlook the industry also had to overcome certain challenges. Besides protectionist tendencies and the threat of terrorism Dr. Song named human capital, which was in ever shorter supply. Even in Asia the job market was no longer able to meet economic demands.

Robert Kluge

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