|Bit 2012: Tourism, a Factor in The Recovery|
|Published by Ozgur Tore|
|Friday, 17 February 2012 00:24|
Travel professionals started to experience the new Bit experience. In the Fieramilano district of Rho, the 32° Borsa Internazionale del Turismo (International Tourism Exchange) opened its doors on Thursday, February 16th.
The event was opened at 10.30 with the inaugural conference “Tourism as a tool for development and the opportunities provided to the country by Expo 2015” with the participation of the Minister for Regional Affairs, Tourism and Sport, Piero Gnudi.
As Marco Serioli, director of Fiera Milano Exhibitions explains: “An increasingly international horizon, a focus on strategic issues, many new players and in particular state of the art tools through which we have made the meeting between offer and demand even more targeted and effective: these are just a few of the main characteristics of the new concept we have built up through discussions with all sector players, by renewing our team and setting ourselves the objective of providing better answers to all market requirements. Operators and their requirements once again take centre stage.”
The Italy area (pav. 1-3) featuring Italy’s Regional displays and The World (pav. 2-4) will be open from the 16 to 19 February to the Operators and, during the weekend also to Travellers who may access specific theme areas. Taking part for the first time in Bit are: Laos, the Cayman Islands and Angola, while we welcome the return of the Philippines, Georgia and Martinique. 120 Countries will be represented including: Japan, Jordan, Argentina, Indonesia, Iran, the Maldives, Malaysia, Mexico, Ethiopia, Zambia, Thailand, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Cuba, Nepal, Germany, Spain, Poland, the South Pacific Islands, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia.
Turkey is attending Bit 2012 with a large stand and is organizing a meeting today (Friday) at Gamma 2, Pavilion 2, 2nd floor from 3.00pm to 5.00 pm. The title of the meeting is: “Turkey and Italian Tourism Market: Evaluation and Results for 2011, Expectations for 2012”.
The 32nd edition opened in a very complex macro-economic context which nevertheless seems to point towards positive developments for 2012. Based on economic data gathered from the most acknowledged survey centres and analysed by Bit, the indication one can gather is that, independent of market history, economic operators must broaden their horizon and get used to thinking in a worldwide economic context.
World economy: the emerging countries compensate for the advanced ones.
If we take a look at the world economy, despite the crises of sovereign debt which in the second half of 2011 has slowed European growth, the overall outlook remains positive thanks to the performance of the emerging economies. The World Bank, for example has forecast an overall increase in the global GWP of +3.2% and expects a growth of +3.6% for both 2012 and 2013. The World Monetary Fund in January 2012 estimated a growth of +3.3% for this year and +3.9% for 2013, even though for advanced economies the forecast drops to +1.5/+2% or less.
In Europe, the European Economic Forecast published by the EU expected growth figures of +1.5% for Europe 27 and +1.4% for the Euro area, figures which may have to be reviewed downwards now that even Germany has reduced its forecast to a +0.7% for this year. In 2012 the recession in our Country should be confirmed, though one still has to assess the impact of the recent (and upcoming) pro-growth measures introduced by the Government: the economic contraction is expected to be in the neighbourhood of -2.2% according to the IMF, -1% to Moody’s, while the European Commission goes as far as predicting a positive result, even though by a very slim margin, just +0.1%.
Tourism, a counter-cyclical resource
In this rather hazy scenario, the tourist industry proves itself to be a resource that continues to generate growth: tourism is only marginally affected by the crises and people keep travelling. In its end of year review (therefore after the sovereign debt crisis), the UNWTO has confirmed the positive figures forecast in April of 2011: international arrivals have grown overall by +5% worldwide and this year it is expected they shall exceed the historic threshold of one billion. And to lend further confirmation to the counter-cyclical nature of the segment, the advanced economies (+4.9%) have grown more than emerging ones (+4%). Europe was the one to post some of the best results, with growth rates of between +6 and +8%.Air traffic is on the up: based on IATA figures, air companies have closed 2011 with an increase in passenger demand of +5.9% compared to 2010 and a load factor of over 78%.
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