Speech by Mr. Zoltan Somogyi


21-23 October 2013

Melaka, Malaysia


H.E Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin Bin Mohd Yassin

Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia


H.E Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz

Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia


H.E Datuk Wira Ir. Idris Haron

Chief Minister of Melaka

Ladies and Gentleman

1) It is my great pleasure to join you on the occasion of the 3rd World Tourism Conference jointly Organized by UNWTO and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, in representation of UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

2) I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the Government of Malaysia, particularly the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, for working alongside UNWTO in this endeavour and to authorities of Melaka for their warm welcome to this remarkable city.

3) I would also like to thank our speakers, who join us from various corners of the world, for their time and willingness to share experiences and knowledge.

Ladies and Gentleman

4) The 3rd World Tourism Conference takes place during a very encouraging time for international tourism.

5) While the International Monetary Fund reminds us that global economic growth is still subdue; that weaker domestic demand, slower growth in emerging economies and a more prolonged recession in the euro area have increased downside risks to global growth prospects, tourism continues to expand.

6) In 2012, international tourist arrivals grew 4% to reach over one billion; income generated by international tourism followed and soared to US$ 1.3 trillion. In the first eight months of this year, the number of tourist travelling worldwide grew by 5%, well ahead of our initial forecast for 2013, to reach almost 750 million.

7) These tourists generate 6% of the world's exports of goods and services – 30% of export if we consider services alone – and one in every 11 jobs.

8) These are big numbers, but it is the transformative power that tourism can have in our economies and in our societies that is far more relevant.

And thus, the importance of the debates that follow.

9) If we are to ensure tourism continues to create wealth and jobs across nations we need to look at how we can raise the competitiveness of our sector through new products that increase yield, innovative marketing that addresses the constant changing consumer and the new opportunities arising from major events or the development of low cost airlines.

Ladies and Gentleman

10) Asia and the Pacific has been driving much of the growth of international tourism in recent years and trend set to continue. This year, Asia reports a notable 6% growth in the first eight month of the year, consolidating thus its positive trend.

11) Asia, accounting for 23% of all international tourist arrivals in the world, remains as well one of the fastest growing tourism regions with forecasts indicating that from now to 2030, Asia will receive an average of almost 17 million new tourists every year.

12) Thanks to the region’s growing economy, inclination for technology and openness in terms of visa policies, we can look forward to the region’s continued strength and growth in terms of tourism.

13) The exchange of experiences in Asia and between Asia and the rest of the world is sure to benefit all as we move to build a more competitive and sustainable tourism sector.

14) Looking forward to the debates that will follow, I have now the pleasure of sharing with you a massage by UNWTO Secretary General, Mr Taleb Rifai, who unfortunately could not join us on this occasion, but did not want to miss the opportunity to address you a few words.

Thank you


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