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Travel “will keep growing” despite terror threat

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Number of travellers to rise from 1.1bn to 1.8bn by 2030
The spectre of terrorism perpetuated by groups like ISIS is unlikely to impact global travel, as the number of travellers is forecast to rise from 1.1 billion last year to 1.8 billion by 2030, according to UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai.
“We will continue to travel, because this is the antithesis of terrorism and the forces of darkness,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the UN tourism body’s regional ministerial conference taking place in the Maldives.
Travel is no longer a luxury or secondary activity in people’s lives, he explained, and the impression that there is more instability in the world than before comes from being better informed these days.
The Maldives’ deputy tourism minister, Hussain Lirar, agreed, saying his country has had its share of political unrest but this has not adversely impacted tourism. “Tourism will grow despite all problems,” he said.
Likewise, Hiran Cooray, chairman of Sri Lanka’s Jetwing Leisure Group and former PATA chairman, commented: “People have short memories, and within a month I’m sure visitors will go to Nepal which suffered a devastating earthquake recently.”
But Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority’s managing director, Malraj Kiriella, warned: “Nobody wants to go to a place where there are life-threatening problems. My take is in case of a major crisis, they will go elsewhere.”
TTG Asia

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