Tuesday July 16, 2013
New Markets New Policies – 16th July 2013
An invited audience of over 50 representatives of the tourism industry, government, academics, media and NGOs heard Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, and Christopher Rodrigues CBE, Chairman of VisitBritain, speak at the Tourism Society’s ‘New Markets – New Policies’ seminar in London on July 16th.
Van Schalkwyk’s presentation looked at Tourism as an Economic Driver: Responsibilities of Governments. He began by addressing the importance of valuing our own domestic markets before considering new destinations from emerging economies and the implications of this geographic shift in source markets. Later our thoughts were turned to population growth and travel facilitation touching on the benefits of the G20 to tourism and the rise in e-passports.
Rodrigues delivered his speech on Attracting Tomorrow's Customers and spoke enthusiastically of a planned rise in the numbers of incoming tourists to the UK over the next seven years which would need to be maintained by the offer of re-energised products and the regenerating of the UK's traditional markets. The perception of the UK in different source markets would mean tailoring the approach in different regions and perhaps even just concentrating on promoting the UK in overseas cities rather than countries as a whole.
The second part of the evening consisted of a lively and interactive exchange between the speakers and the audience, moderated by Professor Geoffrey Lipman FTS, Director of Greenearth.travel. Topics covered included the need for the tourism industry to look at sources of funding other than government; the ability of destinations to handle the ever-increasing numbers of tourists properly particularly at points of entry; the balance between the announcement of grand policies and their actual implementation, together with the importance of more smaller, more easily introduced, initiatives; the balance between new technologies allowing simpler hotel check-in, for example, and the benefits of human interaction in providing a memorable and good quality holiday experience.
Ultimately tourism was acknowledged as a force for good and needed to be available to everyone across all levels of society.
Gregory Yeoman, Executive Director of the Tourism Society, commented, “This evening’s event has shown the importance of coordinated work by tourism industries in different countries to facilitate further development, and also highlighted some important UK aspects that would help maintain our position in the global marketplace.”
The event was supported by Greenearth.travel.