Table of Contents

  • This second review of tourism trends and policies, carried out by the OECD Tourism Committee, assesses the long-term evolution of tourism in the OECD area over the last two decades, the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on the tourism industry and also, for the first time, analyses data and policy trends in twelve non-OECD countries, including big emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India.

  • Over recent decades, travel and tourism have been large contributors to the world economy. International tourism has been growing at a slightly faster pace than the world economy and this seems likely to continue in the long-term despite the current recession. While its economic importance varies widely, in many of the 42 countries covered in this report, it is clear that tourism plays a crucial role in supporting economic growth and development, in sustaining employment and in generating foreign currency receipts. In the OECD area, for example, the employment growth rate in the hotel and restaurant industry exceeded 2% per year between 2000 and 2007, more than a percentage point ahead of the total employment growth rate (Chapters 1 and 4).

  • Over the last 20 years, tourism has made a significant contribution to world growth. International tourism has been the fastest-growing component of tourism, although for many OECD countries it remains less important than domestic tourism. Tourism has been variably impacted by the financial and economic crisis that hit the world economy in 2008 and 2009. International tourism has been affected more than domestic tourism and business tourism more than leisure tourism. Over the last two decades, competition on tourism markets has sharpened with the emergence of new destinations. In this context, the results from OECD countries are impressive. OECD countries continue to play a predominant role in international tourism both for outbound and inbound flows. Tourism enterprises have contributed greatly to the overall employment increase in the OECD. Demand trends have been changing tourism, in particular, there is a tendency towards more frequent trips during the year, coupled with shorter individual stays.

  • Addressing the major and multi-faceted challenges faced by the tourism industry demands an integrated approach to policy development across many government departments. Coherence and consistency are essential in the design and application of policies between all levels of government to ensure that tourism policies are effective. This understanding has led to an increased emphasis on a “whole of government” commitment as outlined in the Riva del Garda Action Statement for Enhancing Competitiveness and Sustainability in Tourism. It has been shown that the development of a tourism strategy can play a key role in engaging government, industry, destination communities and other stakeholders to identify a vision and direction for tourism development and in setting priorities for implementing a long-term and sustainable vision for the tourism sector. Tourism strategies are increasingly emphasising public-private sector co-operation. This chapter offers a range of pointers to those areas in which public policy interventions can be most effective.

  • The Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework (TSA) is the main internationally recognised standard to measure tourism in the economy. An increasing number of countries, notably within the OECD area, are implementing the TSA. The benefits of the TSA are wide-ranging: quality benchmark, assessment of tourism contribution in the economy, extensions, e.g. indirect impacts, employment, quarterly and regional data. To a large extent, however, TSA data remain underused. Some key issues limit the usage of the TSA, such as the lack of knowledge about the account, the timeliness, the lack of spatial dimension or the insufficient international comparability. This chapter recommends increasing international efforts in the following areas: i) implementation of internationally recommended standards; ii) involvement of more stakeholders in the production and dissemination of TSA data and extensions; iii) adjustment and better communication of TSA products to users; and iv) building the capacity of TSA users. The OECD, one of the main developers of the TSA, is fully committed to support these efforts.