Published on : Wednesday, January 4, 2017
The WTTC has urged ASEAN governments to ensure that they have the infrastructure for meeting demands from the ASEAN region and China. David Scowsill, President and CEO of the WTTC said that Southeast Asia is one of the top performers in tourism. As of 2015, contribution of tourism to the economies of Southeast Asia grew by an average of 7.9%, ahead of South Asia and Oceania. This growth is largely due to the region’s proximity to the rapidly growing Chinese market. To quote Scowsill, “Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar [were] all within the top 10 fastest-growing tourism economies in 2015, and in terms of the absolute size of the tourism sector, Thailand and Indonesia are in the global top 20. This combination of size and growth within the region means that the future forecasts for Southeast Asia are extremely positive.”
However, this growth will have challenges and so, governments will need to invest in infrastructure for catering to future travelers. This includes airports, air connectivity, entry and exit systems that are secure and effective and visa facilitation encouraging travel to and within the region. The ASEAN has already taken relevant steps in these areas. Destinations should also ensure that this rapid tourism growth doesn’t come at the cost of natural and cultural resources. According to Scowsill, Thailand is a very popular tourist spot and he hopes that the Thai government would continue to focus on travel and tourism. Travel and tourism is expected to contribute significantly to Thailand’s GDP and create more jobs. The WTTC’s Global Summit will be hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in Bangkok in April, which will bring together over 750 of the world’s leading decision-makers from across the industry.