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Published on : Wednesday, November 20, 2013
However, the mood was not as ambient and was filled with anxiety charged by a familiar and long list of gripes, tourism taxes, visa bureaucracy, outdated regulations for consumer protection, inefficient tour guides and low quality coaches and transport access. It is feared that Europe will face a turn down in its market share in the long run, with other favored destinations overtaking its popular position in a few years from now.
With the long-term welfare of European tourism, seem less glowing than before, it is time for Europe to get its act in place, especially in the fields of quality services and regulations. In 2010, the market share of Europe in world tourism market was 51 percent. If things remain unchanged, the same is expected to fall to a level of 41 percent by 2030 according to UNWTO.
Amongst all global tourist locations, Europe is responsible for generating the highest figures for international tourist receipts. However, the amount of revenue generated from each individual tourist in the continent is far less than that received from the ones touring the Middle East or regions in the Asia-Pacific and North/South America.
Tourism in Europe is quite dependent on domestic tourists while other competing destinations are attracting international tourists in a better way. However, none of these factors may matter, if world tourism continues to grow on with an influx of travelers from China, India and other fast emerging markets. The chief executive of European Tour Operators Association, Tom Jenkins, is alarmed by a reduction in the number of visitors from Europe’s largest markets—Japan and USA, and feels that this should ring the alarm bells in tourist friendly places across Europe.
The continent’s rivals in the tourism sector are highlighting savvier efforts in encouraging tourists their way. The United States is now going through a renaissance to make up for lost business in the decade following the 9/11 attack. This revival was initiated by the tourism industry aligning over different initiatives and burying its differences to encourage tourism with the help of political support.
Passing of the Travel Promotion Act, that levies a small tax on visitors for funding tourism marketing campaigns, helped USA achieve its targets in a big way. Another upshot for US tourism is its budget that totals $200 million. Because of these initiatives, the spending by international visitors in US has upped by 49 per cent since 2006, with the expected number of visitors set to increase from 60 million to a rocketing 100 million by the year 2019.
According to Roger Dow, the chief executive and president of National Tourism lobby group of US Travel Association, a country has to be bold and big to seize the largest tourism market share. The present scenario is a chastening lesson for the European tourism industry and higher levels of co-operation is needed between the tourism industry and public authorities.