TOURISM AND LEISURE NEWS

By Benjamin Sauge

 

IRISH TOURISM INDUSTRY

 

According to lobby groups, namely the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation, tourism doesn’t get “due attention” from either the Minister of Tourism Shane Ross or its entire cabinet. In their opinion, a hard Brexit coupled with the VAT increase in the budget would cost to the industry a lost around €1 billion, just for this year. The Confederation chairwoman, Ruth Andrew, made a public announcement arguing that there is a “lack of Government focus” on tourism, and more specifically a lack of ambition for this industry, since the Government’s national tourism targets for 2025 have already been exceeded. The major claim of the Confederation is to give back to the sector its importance and its potential in the national debate. According to its figures, the tourism industry delivered a 6% increase in revenue and tax receipts and created 35,000 jobs last year.

 

TOURISM INDUSTRY IN ASEAN

 

In the economic growth of the ASEAN countries (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), tourism is a key component that helps in driving economic policies. On the 2ndof May was held the Tourism Summit 2019 in Pasay City (Philippines). According to Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (Philippines Department of Tourism Secretary), tourist arrivals to ASEAN countries accounted for 9.5% of world tourist arrivals in 2017 (representing around 270 million air passengers). She anticipates that in 2020, this share will increase up to 15%, that the population employed in this sector would also increase, from 3.7% to 7%, and finally that the international tourist spending per capita would increase from $887 to $1500. Therefore, she wants to enhance this trend and to ensure that the benefits from this economic growth will be used and collected wisely. In order to achieve that goal, the Department of Tourism will prioritize adequate infrastructure, ease in travel facilitation, safety and security, and lastly develop tourism areas. These measures appear in a “convergence program”, working with the Department of Transportation, in order to ensure a good repartition of the air traffic, getting that 98% of international tourists arrive by air.

 

OYO BUYS @LEISURE

 

Oyo, the fast-growing Indian hotel chain, announced on May 1stthe acquisition of the Netherlands-based property management business @Leisure, for $369.5 million. Oyo was founded in 2013 and achieved a rapid expansion through a technology-driven franchise model, focusing mainly on small budget hotels. The group is currently the world’s sixth-biggest hotel brand by room numbers and wants to become the first by 2023. However, some financial analysts have raised some concerns about the pace of its growth, which boasts 636,000 hotel rooms in 24 countries. The majority are in India, where it’s now by far the largest hotel group by room numbers, and in China. In the past year it has stepped up its growth, with moves into other countries including the UK, Indonesia and Japan.

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