Tourism leaders predict growth for 08

repercussions of the ongoing global credit crunch, Travel & Tourism leaders
today revealed that the industry will moderately be impacted and signalled
continued growth rates for 2008 at a reduced pace.

  According to the recent research produced by the World Travel & Tourism
Council (WTTC) and Oxford Economics (OE), Travel & Tourism entered this
recent period on the back of another solid performance in 2007.
International tourism arrivals increased in this year by nearly 6 per cent
per cent, totalling to nearly 900 million tourists and marking the fourth
successive year that arrivals’ growth has exceeded its long-standing trend
of 4 per cent (source: UNWTO).

  Furthermore, the research also indicated that tourism spending per
capita has more than matched these increases. International air passenger
traffic also rose at a record 9.3 per cent (source: IATA) from year to year
in November.

  WTTC President Jean-Claude Baumgarten stated “tourism growth has been
particularly rapid in developing countries with the fastest average growth
in tourism arrivals in the Middle East region. These countries are not only
recognising the development potential of Travel & Tourism and therefore
investing heavily in new infrastructure and facilities but their citizens
are also seeing rapid economic growth boost their incomes beyond the level
where international travel becomes both a feasible and desired option.”

  Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Director
General Khalid Bin Sulayem added “a continued policy for tourism has helped
Dubai’s Travel & Tourism industry accelerate and this growth will help it
also rise above the potential economic downturn.”


  Nonetheless the Travel & Tourism industry does face challenges in the
year ahead. The deteriorating economic conditions, particularly in the
housing and credit markets across the globe are increasing concerns for the
industry. However the slowdown is likely to have a limited impact, due to
the growth of emerging markets and the easing in monetary policy by central

  Higher energy prices are a two pronged challenge as they squeeze
household budgets globally and raise the cost of a key input for the Travel
& Tourism industry. Baumgarten stated that even this challenge has a
positive angle, explaining how “higher revenues are boosting oil producer’
incomes and raising available funds for investment in diversification
projects often focussing on tourism’s undoubted potential.”

  Dubai certainly represents a nation that has truly embraced Travel &
Tourism as a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity. In recognition of
the vision and commitment of Dubai Government it will host this year’s
Global Travel & Tourism Summit along with pioneering Travel & Tourism
companies including DTCM, Emirates Group, Jumeirah International, Nakheel
and Dubailand.

  The 8th Global Travel & Tourism Summit will be hosted by the Jumeirah
Group and will take place on April 20-22, 2008 and will be the world’s most
significant public/ private partnership with the objective of driving the
agenda on responsibility and the key role that Travel & Tourism plays.