Travel industry looks to BIC for boom
With an estimated two billion new middle class consumers expected to come into the markets from those emerging powerhouses over the next two decades, the travel industry sees a potential gold rush ahead.
"The growth of China outbound travel is moving at a huge pace -- it is about 20 per cent increase every year. And the number of outbound Chinese travelers hit 58 million last year," said David Scowsill, CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council, an industry promotion group.
"And if you look ahead, (with about) 1.6 billion coming out of China and India, they are a huge amount of people coming in with money to burn," he told reporters.
The impact of that coming wave is a top topic at a three-day global travel and tourism summit that opens here yesterday, drawing CEOs from many of the world's largest travel companies and top tourism officials.
The US is sending Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Valerie Jarret, a top advisor to President Barack Obama. Mexico's President Fernando Calderon is the guest of honour.
Barriers to travel, technological innovation and change, body blows to tourism in quake-struck Japan and the turbulent Middle East also are on the agenda here.
But organisers say they want to get government officials and industry leaders thinking
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