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Europe

Tourism fair in Berlin attracts emerging countries

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-03-29

Over 180 countries compete for visitors’ attention at the tourism fair in Berlin. Among them are many countries in which tourism is a booming, up-and-coming market.

Even in an economic crisis, Romania spared no expense at the tourism fair in Berlin.

Contracts worth a total of more than 6 billion euros were signed here last year and Bucharest wants its share of the pie again this year.

“We have a lot of attractions, and we hope, by bringing the tourists to Romania, to have more income for our citizens,” said Cristian Petrescu, Romania’s minister of regional development and tourism.

The travel industry accounts for 5% of the global GDP, and more and more emerging countries are investing in this promising market. Azerbaijan, better known for its oil resources, has invested in its infrastructure and its image in order to attract tourists.

As Nazim Samadov, Azerbaijan’s deputy minister of culture and tourism, said: “We did a lot of things: we constructed new hotels, we improved infrastructure, and the oil that we have of course helps us.”

Another small boost for Azerbaijan is the Eurovision song contest. Indeed, cultural and sporting events attract attention and bring in tourism revenue. Tatarstan is aware of this,
and will host the World University Games next year. For the small Russian republic, tourism is a way to become better known.

“Tourism, the level of development of tourism helps the image for the whole region. We understand that it attracts more investments”, said Sergey Ivanov, deputy minister of youth, sports, and tourism for the Republic of Tatarstan.

But above all, tourism promises stable growth free from market fluctuations. The number of tourists is expected to almost double by 2030. Mongolia, with its rich natural heritage, wants to balance its economy, which relies on raw materials.

“It is one of the convenient ways of exporting services, because…the buyers come with their currencies,” said Damdin Tsogtbaatar, Mongolia’s minister of nature, environment, and tourism.”

It is estimated that tourism will generate 2 billion dollars in 2012.

Date created : 2012-03-27

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