Forum discusses tourism trends and overcrowding
More than 170 travel and tourism experts from 23 countries and regions have come together in Guilin, China to share their knowledge and experience and look for ways to address overcrowding in urban destinations.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the People’s Government of Guilin held the 13th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook last month.
The event’s theme ‘Beyond Gateways: Dispersal policies, capacity management, and rural tourism’ gave delegates the chance to address an array of issues.
UNWTO executive director Manuel Butler said the event was opportunity to “present our latest tourism research and to discuss dispersal policies, capacity management and the efforts to better understand and prevent the phenomenon of overcrowding is some urban destinations”.
He added: “Guilin is deeply committed to the sustainable development of tourism, and through this forum the city has become a prominent centre for the exchange of tourism knowledge in Asia and the Pacific.”
International tourist arrivals in Asia and the Pacific grew seven per cent in 2018 to reach a total of 348 million, a quarter of the world’s total.
Asia recorded the strongest growth in international arrivals in the period 2000 to 2018, much of which has been fuelled by China, the world’s top source market. Chinese citizens made about 150 million international trips in 2018.
During a keynote session on sustainable tourism, Vincent Nijs from VisitFlanders (Belgium) discussed the transformational power of tourism in the context of a new future vision for tourism, including how flourishing destinations find a positive balance for the traveller, host and place.
Among the topics discussed at the Forum were the applications of big data to tourism measurement and dispersal policies, the integration of tourism with culture and creative industries, policies for managing sustainable tourism growth, capacity management and rural tourism.