The need for policies on tourism that will include local communities and private participation was the main conclusion of the 6th World Tourism Forum Lucerne Think Tank (WTFL) hosted by Costa Navarino in Messinia, last week, and attended by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the OECD, as well as the industry’s most influential CEOs, ministers, investors, professors and startups.
The forum, which took place March 2-3, included forecasts on the international tourism industry on behalf of leading tourism bodies.
According to the UNWTO, international tourism is growing rapidly and is expected to double the 2010 figure and reach 1.8 billion arrivals by 2030. Moreover, International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts a 3.7 percent annual growth in air travel by 2035 and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) sees a 4.5 percent annual growth in tourism investment over the next 10 years.
Minister Kountoura: Tourism should benefit communities as well as visitors
In her closing address, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura stressed that tourism growth and sustainability should be all-inclusive: involving and benefiting the communities and residents as well as the visitors, and at the same time operating on all levels of the economy while ensuring the preservation of the natural environment.
She went on to note the importance of developing tourism infrastructure that will center on transport, hospitality and recreation/entertainment; digital and ecological projects such as national parks; tapping into human resources with emphasis on tourism education and high level employee training; investments that will ensure healthy competitiveness; new technologies and innovation; and lastly, private-public partnerships (PPPs) with the exchange of know-how that will benefit both sides and help identify new products.
Upon the conclusion of the WTFL, which was jointly organized by the tourism ministry, the Greek National Tourism Organization and the Peloponnese Region, participants were introduced to the region’s nature sites and cultural landmarks, and had the chance to sample local gastronomy.