The Slovenia Times

Partnerships Play Key Role in Tourism, BSF Panel Hears


The debate also stressed the importance of sustainability and efforts to disperse around destinations which are already very popular.

Taking place a day before a tourism summit of central and eastern European countries and China, the event also featured Wei Hongtao of the Chinese National Tourism Administration. He said that China had become the biggest outbound country and the fourth biggest inbound destination in the world.

Wei added that despite the current cooling of the Chinese economy, there were no indicators that this was affecting the travel plans of the Chinese. He has also said in an interview for the STA that he did not expect the current situation to affect Chinese guests in the long term.

Slovenia and another 15 countries from central and eastern Europe want to attract more Chinese tourists with joint promotion campaigns. Economic Development and Technology Minister Zdravko Počivalšek expressed a belief that Slovenia can become an important global destination.

Marcio Favilla Lucca de Paula, executive director for operational programmes and institutional relations at the World Tourism Organization, however, warned that destinations should not start neglecting their traditional markets, as an average of 80% of tourists come from the region of the destination.

Presenting global tourism figures, Favilla Lucca de Paula said that international tourism revenue more than doubled in the past two decades to US$ 1.245bn and currently accounted for some 10% of the global economy. Europe still remains the top source market in tourism, while Asia and Pacific are growing exponentially, he added.

Meanwhile, Alain Dupeyras, the head of tourism at the OECD, pointed to some of the biggest challenges in tourism, such as ways to make the sector more inclusive for local environments and ways to tackle security issues.

What is more, tourists should also be encouraged to explore the surrounding areas of the most popular destinations, according to Mario Hardy, CEO of the Thailand-based Pacific Asia Travel Association. Some iconic destinations get more visitors than they can handle, but places in their vicinity do not attract any tourists, he said.


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