BEIJING, Jan. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On January 16, 2019, the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) and the Tourism Research Center, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (TRC-CASS) jointly released the "Report on World Tourism Economy Trends 2019" (hereinafter referred to as "the Report"). More than 60 delegates from WTCF, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, foreign institutions including the Panamanian and South African Embassies, Chongqing City and domestic tourism-related agencies, as well as more than 100 domestic and foreign media jointly participated in the release and forum discussion of the Report.
Li Baochun, Deputy Secretary-General of WTCF, Yan Kun, Secretary of the Party Committee of National Academy of Economic Strategy, CASS, delivered speeches at the meeting. Francisco Escobar, Ambassador of Panama, delivered the keynote speech. Song Rui, Director of TRC-CASS and WTCF special expert, released the main research results in the Report.
Li Baochun pointed out that in order to further study and judge the trends in the international tourist industry, predict its future prospects, promote the sustainable development, reveal its annual characteristics, and better serve WTCF members, WTCF has publicly released the "Report on World Tourism Economy Trends" since 2016, sharing the research results with global counterparts and providing decision-making references and intellectual support for governments, relevant cities and the tourism industry.
Yan Kun believed that tourism embodies cultural exchange, social communication and trade, as well as acts as an important force to connect the world, deepen cooperation and drive development. With global growth slowing down and trade frictions increasing, it is of great significance to study the developments of the international tourist industry, provide insights into the changes, follow the trends, make positive efforts and innovate constantly.
Francisco Escobar, Ambassador of Panama, on behalf of international agencies, congratulated and spoke highly of the release of the Report.
According to the content of the Report, a forum discussion with the theme of "Connecting the World of Tourism" was held. Under the dual background of the current changes in tourism consumption demand and the intensification of competition in the tourist destination market. Guests such as Wang Dingguo, Vice Chairman of Chongqing Cultural and Tourism Development Commission, Thandukwazi Nyawose, Economic Counselor of South African Embassy in China, Ge Yujing, Vice President of Tuniu, Gao Yanhong, Head of WeChat Pay Tourism Industry, Cao Zhigang, CEO of Dragon Trail Interactive, etc. focused on the "Connectivity" of tourism, discussed tourism development trends, and shared their opinions on how to make tourist destinations more attractive so as to have an in-depth dialogue and interpretation of the Report.
The total number of international tourists in 2018 reached 12.1 billion people, an increase of 580 million people over the previous year, with a growth rate of 5.0%. Compared with 2017, the growth rate dropped by 0.7 percent, and the total income of international tourism reached 5.34 trillion US dollars, accounting for 6.1% of global GDP, a decrease of 0.4% over the previous year. It is estimated that the total number of international tourists will reach 12.76 billion in 2019, with a growth rate of 5.5%. Compared with 2018, the growth rate will rise by 0.5 percent. The total international tourism revenue will reach 5.54 trillion US dollars, accounting for 6.0% of global GDP.
The Report follows the previous analytical framework, focuses on the perspectives of global, regional, country, industry and city levels and makes a panoramic analysis of the development trends of the international tourist industry from seven aspects including international tourism economic developments, regional development pattern changes, international tourism investment and the role of cities in the international tourist industry. The Report summarizes the following characteristics: First, the international economic growth will slow down in 2019, but the tourist industry will rise steadily. Second, tourism development in five global regions is becoming more and more obvious, with the growth in Asia and the decline in Europe. Third, the scale and growth rate of tourism investments in Asia-Pacific are among the top in all regions. Fourth, the Report innovatively puts forward the concept of "T20" countries, which create 80% of the tourism revenue. Fifth, the reform of payment promotes the upgrading of tourist consumption. Cities are still the main destination for inbound tourists, and 95% of international cities are from Asia-Pacific, Europe and America. Sixth, six major marketing innovations represented by virtual technology and industry chain cooperation create new tourism experiences. Seventh, cities are still the main destination for inbound tourists.
The WTCF is the world's first global tourism organization focusing on cities. It upholds the core concept of "Better City Life Through Tourism," actively builds a multilateral exchange platform for international tourism, and strives to promote cooperation and exchanges among international tourist cities, comprehensively enhance the competitiveness and influence of tourist cities, so as to provide new vitality to the sustainable development of international tourism.