The next ten years look set to be “the decade of travel and tourism”, says UNWTO Secretary_General opening the on going ITB Travel Trade Show, Berlin, Germany.
“The first decade of the twenty first century was a decade of extraordinary tourism growth, but also of severe shocks: a decade that began with September 11 and ended with global economic crisis,” said Mr. Rifai. “Now – with recovery underway and international tourist arrivals up by 7% in 2010 – is the time to look forward and ask what the next ten years hold for our sector”.
Meeting at ITB against a “background of a recovering economy and significant geopolitical shifts”, the world is faced with the diverse and complex challenges of unbalanced economic growth, high unemployment, rising oil prices and the environmental imperative. As world leaders face up to these challenges, tourism can lead “a new decade of fairer, stronger and more sustainable growth” said Mr. Rifai, “and be one of the most effective agents of development”.
“As traditional economic sectors lose dynamism, it is clear that a second wave of service sectors, including tourism, are emerging. These are the industries that have exhibited particularly strong growth over the past few years. And these will be some of the most dynamic and economically significant industries and development agents of this decade,” he added.