RESPONDING AND ADAPTING TO RAPID GROWTH AND TRANSITION

Second annual Xianghu Dialogue of WTA to plot ongoing roadmap for industry

The World Tourism Alliance (WTA) is planning its second annual Xianghu Dialogue in Hangzhou, China on Sept. 18-21, 2019.

This year’s Dialogue will focus on “Today’s Travel & Tourism Industry: Responding & Adapting to Rapid Growth and Transition.” Important topics include global travel & tourism developments and trends; destination marketing and big data, technology advancement & industries innovation and many more relevant issues and challenges facing the industry will be addressed in collaboration with the UNWT), World Bank, European Tourism Commission, Global Tourism Economic Forum and the Paci c Asia Travel Association.
Founded in September 2017, WTA is still a very young organisation, but its Secretary General, Shijun Liu says its DNA is truly global: “The world tourism industry has expanded exponentially in keeping with the rapid developments in technology and high-efficiency distribution channels. The Internet of Things (IoT) has turned the tourism industry into an economic force, facilitating the marketing of travel products and offers between travel providers/ suppliers and travellers across the world in real time,” states Mr Liu, adding, “This has resulted, among others, in a surge in the number of incremental travellers in Asia Pacific compared to the more established and conventional regions.”
China has become the world’s number one source of outbound travellers, significantly contributing to the growth of international tourism revenue. More importantly, Chinese travellers have become the most sought-after market segment by destinations throughout the world. China- ready programmes that cater exclusively to Chinese travellers have been adopted by tourism offices, hotels, shopping outlets, museums and entertainment centres. Chinese-language websites, brochures and signage are ubiquitous in emerging, established and conventional destinations. This signifies the importance of the Chinese outbound tourism.

So, who are the members of WTA today and which organisations are they looking at to further develop?

“The WTA membership covers the whole travel and industrial chain”, says Mr Liu. “We are proud that our mission, message and vision resonate with several companies and organisations throughout the world as evidenced by the rapid growth in the number and geographical diversity of our members in only a short time.”

As of March 2019, WTA’s membership roster has grown to 182 from 38 countries and regions, a sizeable increase from 89 members at the time of its establishment in 2017. Several of their members are influential and respected companies and organisations, including Australian Federation of Travel Agents, Beijing Tourism Group, Changi Airport, China National Travel Service Group, Club Med, TUI, US Travel Association, just to name a few.