|Russia needs to capitalise on the opportunity to grow Travel & Tourism following the Sochi Games.|
Monday, 31st March 2014
Source : World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
Russia needs to ensure it has the right policies in place to make the most of the Travel & Tourism legacy presented by the Sochi Olympic Games.
That is according to David Scowsill, the CEO and President of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the authority on the economic and social impact of the global Travel & Tourism industry.
Mr Scowsill believes that Russia needs to act now, on the back of the Olympics, if it is make the most of the opportunity to boost Russia's economy through tourism in the future; "It is vital that the Russian Government now elevates the Travel & Tourism industry alongside Russia's traditional industrial base, when considering long-term policies to create jobs, growth and economic prosperity. Russia has a fantastic opportunity to build domestic and international tourism on the back of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. After spending around US$50 billion on the Games, it needs to make sure that the opportunity and momentum to grow Travel & Tourism is not lost".
Mr Scowsill says Russia needs to invest in high quality product to appeal to the international visitor and its high spending domestic market; "It is important to take advantage of hosting such a prestige event, and to make significant future investment in the travel and tourism infrastructure. It is still not easy to travel around the country and there is an urgent need for more quality hotel product."
WTTC's latest research shows that Travel & Tourism currently generates 4.1 million jobs in Russia (5.7% of all employment) and was responsible for 6% of Russia's economy; a larger contribution than many industries including automotive manufacturing, communication services, education, chemicals manufacturing and higher education.
The new research also shows that Travel & Tourism is a significant source of revenue for Russia. International visitor spending in the country totalled $US 20.9 billion last year, representing 30% of all service exports. Travel & Tourism's contribution to the economy is expected to grow at an annual average of 4% over the next decade.
In comparison, the total economy is expected to expand 3.5% per annum while mining is only expected to grow by 1.2% and higher education and communication services by 3.6% and 2.8% per annum respectively.
Mr Scowsill says the economic potential of Travel & Tourism in Russia is too big to ignore; "This new research underlines the impact, which Travel & Tourism currently has and can continue to have on Russia's economic fortunes. Mining has historically been a mainstay of Russia's economy but is losing significance and Travel & Tourism offers an excellent alternative. Russia needs to invest in its transport and tourism infrastructure to ensure it has an appealing product for middle class International visitors"
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