The 2016 World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit took place on April 6–7 in Dallas, Texas, with a congratulation video from US president Barack Obama expressing that tourism is a vital sector in the US economy and the government vows to extend great support to the industry and make US the country with the highest international visitor arrivals worldwide.
US expects tourist arrivals to grow by 30%
Tourism is contributing USD 7.2 trillion to the world’s economy annually, which accounts for around 10% of global GDP, and the industry generates about 9.1% of global employments, according to WTTC.
The US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said at the summit that the US government hoped international tourist visits to US would grow by 30% or more from 2016 to 2018, reaching a total production value of USD 27.5 billion and bringing about more opportunities in import and export and creating more jobs. International tourist arrivals to the US by 2021 are anticipated to exceed 100 million.
The US government has extended the validity of multiple entry visas (MEV) for Chinese visitors to 10 years in 2014, and Chinese tourist traffic to US increased by 53% YoY in 2015.
David Scowsill, WTTC president and CEO, said in the summit’s opening address that a combination of global terrorism and international refugee crisis posed an unprecedented threat to the world but simply closing borders or limiting travel liberty was not the answer.
The largest outbound travel source market
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) released a report in Berlin on March 8 predicting that China will remain the world’s largest outbound tourist source market in 2016 in spite of global economic slowdown.
Value Retail’s CEO Desiree Bollier said that more and more Chinese tourists would better research for shopping destinations before they set out on trips to Europe, and an increasing number of them would choose individual travel instead of group tour.
Philippe Schaus, chairman and CEO of the Hong Kong-based DFS Group, told 21st Century Business Herald that Chinese tourists were DFS’ major targeting customers and the company had been trying to set up new duty-free stores for Chinese visitors in hot attractions such as Japan, Singapore and Australia. (Translated by Jerry)