Happy New Year - here are the key challenges and our ten predictions for 2019
So, maybe it's not so happy but these are the issues that we all have to deal with in 2019.
Tourism numbers v tourism benefits. Sustainable tourism envisions destinations that are good places to live in and good places to visit. In this scenario tourism benefits destinations by bringing economic, social, cultural and environmental support. Too many destinations calculate their success in terms of numbers and not benefits thus comprehensively missing the point and the opportunity! Hence overtourism. As politicians begin to understand this simple issue they will see their opportunity to act for their communities' benefits. They can't all be stupid can they?
Climate Change and Tourism - latest figures show that we are not doing enough by far to avoid devastating global disaster plus populist governments led by Trump are refusing to do anything and airlines, the major tourism polluters, have kicked the problem into the long grass. On the other hand the EU, big cities and China are all leading the way. Unless the anti-polluters win the argument comprehensively we face a slowly-approaching catastrophe - this will affect tourism by culling destinations and increasing prices dramatically
Silk Road/Belt and Road weaponizing tourism - in a major extension of the Silk Road, 65 countries are targets for Belt and Road initiative where China is seeking economic dominance. This dominance already includes tourism (China is global number1 source market and will shortly be number1 destination). Clearly China recognizes the soft power that tourism brings and is prepared to use it to its advantage. Look out for China-only destinations in 2019.
Populism - may be a joke for many educated western folk but I've counted over 30 countries who are now perched on the brink of totalitarianism - including the Trump regime. The main fuel for this success is fear and xenophobia promulgated by a state-managed media (social or otherwise). Ultimately this fear enables the state to enact freedom-reducing legislation. Moreover paranoia is reducing commitment to climate change mitigation measures. How can tourism as a force for good prosper in this environment? Or maybe it can, ultimately as a force for communication and change?
Refugees - The number of refugees in 2018 has increased to 68.5 million and now 31 people are displaced somewhere every single minute of the day Moreover By the middle of this century, experts estimate that climate change is likely to displace between 150 and 300 million people unless something is done, what hope for tourism except for the super-rich?
HERE ARE OUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2019
READ MORE ABOUT SUSTAINABLE TOURISM OPPORTUNITIES IN 2019: 80% off Special Vision offer: Sustainable Tourism Report 80% discount on review copies only 50 available. https://www.sustainabletourismreport.com/
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