The international tourism industry is confidently gaining impetus partly due to the recovery of the world economic meltdown and the 2010 African tourism booster, the World Cup, which is set to be played in a few months’ time in South Africa.
This sentiment was shared by many of the participants at the just ended Spotlight travel Workshop, on Thursday at the Cresta Lodge.
The workshop, which saw the participation of over 32 companies from over 12 African and Asian countries, was organized to promote travel from Botswana to the rest of Africa and the world.
This was said by the event’s organizer, Derek Houston from the Houston Travelling Marketing Services, who added that “more and more people before 2010 used to travel within the region rather than overseas”. However, Houston added that the scenario is changing as the world tourism industry is gaining confidence due to the upsurge in the world economy.
Mr. Werner Schutte, Account and Sales Marketing Manager of the world tourist hub, Dubai, expressed confidence in 2010, stating that since October 2009, travelwise business picked up.
He said despite Dubai being hit by recession like the rest of the world, only globally-owned tourism developments were put on hold while locally-owned tourism developments continued greatly due to the massive oil revenues.
He said part of Dubai’s aggressive tourism development is that in ten year’s time Dubai’s oil reserves will run out, therefore it will rely greatly on tourism.
Some of the world wonders that are currently in development stages are the Universal Studio Park, which will be larger than the Disney World, in Los Angeles, U.S.A and the Hydropolis tower.
Lodges of Botswana Manager, Rita Ridge, shared the international sentiment that the tourism industry will be booming in 2010 compared to 2009.
She said during the recession, international tourists were unsure of the waters therefore they cancelled their bookings.
However she said since 2010, the booking tide is rising, partly due to the settling of the world financial waters and the upcoming World Cup.
For the Spanish born hotels, Navara Hotels, the recession hit hardest in Spain where there were retrenchments.
In South Africa, the hotels had to halve their rates from R1000 per night for sustenance. However, 2010 came with promising results as already the hotels are picking up, said Jaco Du Ploy, the companies Sales Executive. “2010 started with a big boom in conferencing and accommodation particularly due to the World Cup and we are looking forward to a good year.”
Even in Zimbabwe, where the economy is recovering from economic embarrassment, partly due to the world economic recession and the national political turmoil, 2010 brings promising results in the tourism industry. Nommy Vuma, of Africa Albida Tourism, said despite tourism business being sluggish the previous year, 2010’s tourism scenario is on the uplift. She said to keep afloat, they are constantly monitoring their regional and international rates to retain their market.
However, the Managing Director of Kenya’s Destination Direct, a tourism agency that offers intermediary services between tourists and tourism destinations, had a different view altogether as he said they have not recovered from the recession yet.