Int'l conference on digitalization, sustainable tourism opens Wednesday in Mauritius

Balaclava, Mauritius (PANA) – An International conference on digitalisation and sustainable tourism opens Wednesday in Mauritius with a unique opportunity for networking and for paving the way for a more profitable tourism industry across countries, PANA reported from here.

Mauritian Tourisms Minister, Anil Gayan, said there is nothing that can match person to person exchanges and sharing of experiences.

In a message to the conference, he expressed the hope that participants will optimize every opportunity to advance the cause of tourism which is an industry that holds so much promise for the world.

The Minister said tourism in the years to come will face multi-faceted challenges and "it is our responsibility to ensure that the industry remains sustainable, inclusive and complies with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“It is our wish that we adopt a declaration at the end of our work. This declaration will be the roadmap for the tourism industry to cope with digitalization in a sustainable way. Tourism for all is our goal," he said.

According to the Conference organisers, tourism is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in the world that is fueling growth, creating jobs, opening up business opportunities for SMES and providing pathways out of poverty for millions.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the tourism sector accounted for 10% of global GDP, 10% of total employment worldwide and 7% of the world’s exports equivalent to US$ 1.4 trillion in 2016. International tourist arrivals have increased from 25 million in 1950 to 1.235 billion in 2016 and tourism receipts attained US$ 1.220 trillion. It is forecast that by 2030 international tourist arrivals will reach 1.8. billion.

For many countries, especially developing and least developed ones, tourism is a major economic pillar and an important source of foreign currency earnings. Governments across the world are leveraging on tourism as an engine of economic growth and a driver for economic diversification.

However, the organizers said that the tourism industry is faced with a number of challenges that will characterize its future development such as climate change, digitalisation and sustainability. Digitalisation and tourism success are inherently and intrinsically linked.

“During the last decade, the tourism industry witnessed the transformational effect of ICT in terms of wider scope for global interaction between national and international players and for promoting Sustainable Tourism. Destinations, however, have yet to harness the full opportunities offered by ICT and the digitalisation process to foster the sustainability of the industry.

The Conference will, until Friday, bring together high level policy makers including Ministers of Tourism, CEOs of Tourism Boards, specialists, academics and experts to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of digitalisation for the tourism industry.

Mauritius receives a little more than a million tourists, mainly from Europe, annually.
-0- PANA NA/VAO 21May2018

21 may 2018 15:25:58

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