Industry sends out mixed message on tourism caps

Industry sends out mixed message on tourism caps

Travel industry professionals think tourism caps are a good way, in theory, to stop overcrowding at key attractions but are less convinced about the practical benefits to their own business, reveals the World Travel Market 2015 Industry Report, released today (Monday November 2) at World Travel Market London.

More than 2,000 senior travel industry professionals were asked about the controversial issue of tourism caps after a number of hotspots – from Machu Picchu to Angkor Wat via The Louvre – have tried to limit the number of visitors.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) agreed with the statement that “tourism caps are a practical solution to the problems of overcrowding”. A further 18% were unsure with 17% disagreeing.

However, while the majority think tourism caps are a useful tool, the industry is divided about whether capping is actually a good idea in practice. When asked whether caps would be a good thing for their own city/company/destination, only 36% agreed with 34% disagreeing. The balance was unsure.

Managing visitor flow is likely to become a talking point over the next few years as the overall number of tourists increases. Theme park operators such as Disney have always devoted a lot of resources to queue management and recent reports claim it is looking at “dynamic pricing” to manage numbers by charging different prices depending on the time of day or time of year.

Galleries and museums have started to sell timed tickets for popular exhibitions. The idea is that visitors get a better experience if the flow is managed. The Louvre in Paris is spending more than €50 million on the Pyramid Project, a set of initiatives designed around improving the visitor experience with the problems around overcrowding high on its list of priorities.

The situation is different for destinations where access is public. Barcelona has struggled recently with too many visitors at not only its paid-for attractions, such as the Sagrada Familia, but also its free sites such as Las Ramblas and its La Boqueria food market. Large groups have been banned from the market, while the city’s mayor has issued a temporary ban on licensing new hotels.

In China, the government is considering a complete overhaul of public holidays to relieve congestion on the roads and railways as well as its tourism sites. The idea under discussion is to allow regions to set their own holiday periods with less national holidays on the statute books.

WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “Tourism is in danger of becoming a victim of its own success. As tourism numbers in general continue to grow, the industry needs to find a way to manage visitor numbers and a number of businesses and destinations are starting to do this.

“As the leading global event for the travel industry, WTM London will play a key role in sharing best practice and advice for destinations and attractions looking for ways to grow their tourism sector in a manageable and effective way.”

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About World Travel Market London

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

WTM London, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2014 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.

WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa.  www.wtmworld.com

World Travel Market Events

World Travel Market is comprised of the leading leisure travel events in the world; World Travel Market London, WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo, WTM Africa in Cape Town and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

New events for 2016 are WTM connect Asia and WTM connect China, which join WTM connect Ski and International Golf Travel Market. These unique one-to-one events are targeted at leisure and niche travel markets, allowing exhibitors to exclusively meet with elite hosted buyers.

The World Travel Market events are attended by the global travel and tourism industry’s senior executives to conduct business deals and discover the latest research, insight and opinion.

In 2014, the World Travel Market events facilitated around $7 billion in industry deals from negotiations between the more than 15,000 buyers, 9,500 exhibitors (1,500 main stand holders and 8,000 stand sharers) in attendance of its four events.

WTM is  part of Reed travel Exhibitions, the leading events organizer in the travel industry, and is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions.

Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.

RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market.

RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.

World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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