Iceland was amongst the first countries to be severely hit by the recession towards the end of the previous decade, yet has been quick to recover thanks mainly to the booming tourism industry. The Strokkur geyser for example is one of the top attractions. Number of cruise ships arrive at regular intervals to visit Iceland. Thus boom has fuelled numerous tourism jobs making this the top money spinner ahead of fishing. However, sustainability is a concern grappling environmentalists as well as tourism planners.

The China National Tourism Administration has shortlisted ten news stories which it feels are the most significant for the year 2015. The first one of them says that a tenth of global GDP and nearly that much of global employment figures will be filled up by the tourism industry. The year 2017 will now be seen as the year of sustainable tourism. The 21st round of the UNWTO meet was held at Medellin in Columbia this year. To develop tourism across China, construction of toilets has started in the country. Outbound tourism from China to the USA will get easier thus boosting tourism jobs. Spain has been lauded as the best country overall within the industry for the year. However, terrorist attacks in neighbouring France have been condemned by the UNWTO. Tourism to Turkey may get adversely impacted due to the sanctions imposed on the same by Russia. On the more positive side, travel jobs in Africa recovered thanks to the end of the Ebola outbreak. Finally, China is set to co-host the World Conference on Tourism for Development in the year 2016.

Tourism consulting provided by Global Blue has reiterated the fact that Naples is amongst the most popular destinations for tourists in Italy. It is the final point of exit for many tourists and is particularly popular for shopping. Number of streets in Naples are known for tax free shopping. However, unlike other cities in Italy, the top foreign group to visit Naples is Japanese who outnumber Chinese visitors. American and Russian tourists also seem to appreciate the city with increase in number of visitors.

Dubai as a destination has set itself a target of twenty million international inbound tourists for the year 2020. For this, a two pronged corporate strategy has been adopted by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). The first of those plans is to directly execute its tourism marketing activities across the GCC (Gulf Cooperative Council) region rather than rely on outsourcing. Secondly, a team is to be developed to work closely with regional boards across the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region and the Indian Subcontinent. The GCC in particular has been identified as a key region to make this aspiration come true. Dubai is also striving to become a premier MICE destination.

Tourism in Malaysia has added another feather to its cap as the World Golf Awards held in Portugal has conferred the tag of best golf destination to the country for the year 2015. Golf tourism is a major element worldwide and this award is testament to the fact that that Malaysia offers a plethora of options for the same. There exist some golf courses perched next to jungles, others are atop mountain cliffs while some occupy premium urban downtown spots. An estimated sixty million golfing golfer visits took place in 2015 alone generating variety of tourism jobs.

The travel industry has faced massive upheaval thanks to the digitization process. Travelers are now internet savvy and book their travels online rather than glossing over countless tourist brochures. To counter this, the industry now focuses on content that is inspirational rather than aspirational. Peer reviews from TripAdvisor are often seen as challenging, yet Puerto Rico Tourism developed a promotional video which only included positive reviews from the forum. This created a positive vibe and the actual reviewers turned into screenwriters overnight. Norway meanwhile has the unique problem of excess rainfall during summers. So the country’s tourism board launched a challenge which was taken up by two young men to traverse the country and not find rain. While the boys weren’t successful, their entire journey was captured and images of great beauty could be shown to vast audience. Similarly the United States Tour Operators Association engaged in business innovation by asking a celebrity to be shot at various unique spots, to counter the negative vibes on the internet discouraging travelers to venture across exotic places for fear of calamity. This video clearly calmed the fears of potential travelers.

The concept of Virtual Reality (VR) is making headway in the tourism industry. VR allows armchair travelers to explore the depths of oceans, mountain peaks or embrace the luxuries at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel in Dubai or even listen to live concert without moving an inch. YouVisit is one such firm which is exploring the limits of VR generating numerous tourism jobs along the way. Its content works best with Samsung gadgets. Mall of America in Minnesota is on the verge of launching its first VR videos and fear is that it may go wrong similar to the experience on the Space Needle at Seattle where visitors are so enthralled by the 3D images, they ignore the actual city’s sights from the top. YouVisit however is confident having experienced in New York an upsurge in actual cruise ship takers post a VR demonstration of the same.

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