Governments need to prioritise tourism WTM report

first_imgGlobal governments should take a leaf from China’s book and shift tourism higher up on their agendas said tourism ministers during the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Ministers Summit.“China is seeing the benefits from giving tourism a very high priority within government,” UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai. “It is an example other countries should try to follow.”The Summit of over 150 tourism ministers and aides revealed a massive difference in the importance countries place on tourism, with the United Kingdom’s tourism minister John Penrose stating he was “the first dedicated tourism minister” for the country.Findings from the Summit revealed that ministers needed to re-evaluate the ways in which they appeal to their governments, namely: rather than focusing on arrival numbers, data should incorporate economic value.According to China National Tourism Administration chairman Qiwei Shao, by showing that 109 other sectors were affected by tourism and 15 million people directly employed in the sector (as  well as 85 million indirectly employed), he enlisted the Chinese government to support tourism.Inevitably, taxes were a key theme of the Summit, as debate circulated around the UK’s controversial Air Departure Tax and the similar German and Austrian versions.Australia’s Tourism and Transport Forum managing director Christopher Brown warned that governments “could drown small island nations in a sea of taxes before the tidal waves arrive.”This was both China’s and Iraq’s first time appearance at the UNWTO Summit. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more