As one of the world’s largest economic sectors, Travel & Tourism creates jobs, drives exports, and generates prosperity across the world. The sector, comprised of a wide range of industries, aims to serve and support domestic, international, business and leisure visitors. Companies, large and small, in industries ranging from accommodation and transportation to food & beverage, retail and culture and sports & recreation, all strive to create products and services that bring people together, support communities and celebrate the wonders that our world can offer.
In its annual analysis of the top five global news in 2019 I tried to compile the events regarding tourism and give an insight to my followers.
Thomas Cook Bankruptcy
After 178 years of being the biggest name in holiday booking, Thomas Cook has declared bankruptcy. The bankruptcy has left 600,000 travelers stranded and 21,000 people out of work.
The firm’s fate was sealed by a number of factors: financial, social and even meteorological. As well as weather issues, and stiff competition from online travel agents and low-cost airlines, there were other disruptive factors, including political unrest around the world. Unfortunately, Thomas Cook had “an analogue business model in a digital world”. Much of the value of the business was perceived to be in its brand and the loyalty of its customers, accounted for in its books as goodwill.
The firm had very little in the way of tangible assets, such as planes or hotels. So, when customers left for online competitors or to book their own flights and hotels, the value of the firm plummeted.
Hong Kong Protests Affected Tourism
Hong Kong is one of the world’s most visited cities, but experts say the disruption is hurting its hospitality sector.
So how much have the protests affected tourism?
Travel analytics firms have issued studies about the effect Hong Kong’s protests have hit the tourism industry. They show – compared to the same period last year – forward bookings for travel to Hong Kong from mainland China between 24 September to 30 December are behind 58.2%. Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flag carrier authorities said inbound passenger traffic in October slumped 35% from a year earlier and warned that its second-half financial results would be “significantly” lower than the first due to the city’s troubles.
The government announced incentives to provide relief for the tourism industry, including handing out about HK$100 million ($12.8 million) to travel agencies, but the continued loss of public and corporate events and the rush of violence is stoking concern that Hong Kong’s situation is set to worsen.
Airbnb Overtook Expedia in Room Nights Booked
Just as the sharing economy has reshaped all our lives, Airbnb has changed the travel world. Still, the home rental platform is largely viewed as a scrappy upstart compared to established hotel brands and online travel agencies like Expedia.
But that has changed. Citing data from the Wall Street Journal, Skift reports that more rooms were booked through Airbnb than via Expedia in the first three months – and not by a small margin. More than 91 million rooms were booked on Airbnb in that span, beating Expedia’s 80.8 million by more than 11 million.
Africa is the 2nd Fastest Growing Tourism Region in the World
Travel and tourism remained one of the key growth drivers of Africa’s economy, contributing 8.5% of the GDP in 2018; equivalent to $194.2 billion. According to the 2019 Jumia Hospitality Report Africa, this growth record placed the continent as the second-fastest growing tourism region in the world, with a growth rate of 5.6% after Asia Pacific and against a 3.9% global average growth rate.
As World Tourism Forum, we believe that we have great contributions to Africa Tourism thanks to our events took place in Ghana and Angola:
World Tourism Forum Africa Summit 2017 made a significant contribution to shaping the 2027 tourism vision that Ghana put forth within the scope of diversifying its economy. In 2018, the country’s goal of exceeding 1 million, which is the first step in the target of 3 million tourists in 2027, was realized in 2018 with the contribution of the joint efforts carried out after the Africa Summit 2017.
In World Tourism Forum Angola 2019, the government of Angola and global tourism groups signed goodwill letters and protocol agreements in total $650 million. By the end of 2019, we expect this figure to reach $ 1 billion.
H.E Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, wins 2019 Nobel peace prize
The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. He was awarded the prize for his efforts to “achieve peace and international cooperation. Ethiopia reached a peace deal with Eritrea last year, ending a 20-year military stalemate following their 1998-2000 border war. He was named as the winner of the 100th Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.
The prize, worth nine million Swedish crowns (about £730,000; $900,000), will be awarded in Oslo in December. A total of 301 candidates had been nominated for the prestigious award, including 223 individuals and 78 organisations.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also received 2019 Leader in Tourism Award by World Tourism Forum.
World Tourism Forum President Bagci gave information about the forum. Speaking about the participation of World Tourism Forum in tourism, Bağcı stressed that they are trying to improve tourism worldwide through annual forums.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also received World Tourism Award as Leader in Tourism. The World Tourism Forum announced that Ahmed was named among nominated leaders for his outstanding and exemplary efforts to promote the growth and improvement of the Ethiopian tourism industry.