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Medworld addresses key issues of concern to Mediterranean tourism destinations

Preliminary estimates point to stagnation in international tourist arrivals in the Mediterranean region in…

Preliminary estimates point to stagnation in international tourist arrivals in the Mediterranean region in 2003, although this average masks wide variations among destinations. While Egypt recorded a 17% increase, and there was healthy growth for a number of other eastern Mediterranean destinations including Lebanon, Turkey, Croatia and Slovenia, growth was much more modest for some countries like Tunisia. Several traditional Mediterranean favourites such as France, Spain, Italy and Malta suffered declines or registered no growth.



While long-haul source markets were the main contributors to the negative trends, some European markets also turned in disappointing performances. Germany, for example, which accounts for around 25% of all arrivals in the region, has seen its share of Mediterranean tourism decline by six percentage points since 1998. The UK`s share meanwhile remained unchanged at 16%. France however, in third position in the ranking, did increase its share from 7% to 10% over the period.



A major issue of concern to the Mediterranean, which will be subject to keen debate at the Medworld conference in Malta to be held between the 26th and 27th February at the Westin Dragonara Resort, is whether the decline from the region`s major source markets in share, and in Germany`s case also in absolute volume, is a reflection of a longer-term trend. Some believe it is due to the declining quality of the region`s tourism product and the inability of destinations to adapt to changing market demand.



Jean-Robert Reznik, General Manager of the Accor Leisure Group, who will be one of Medworld`s keynote speakers, has strong views on the subject. One of the major problems is uniformity of the product, says Reznik, especially in terms of hotels and resorts. This has resulted in pressure on rates and a decline in yields. The region is jeopardising its chances of ensuring a sound return on investment, and the situation could get worse.



The question of product quality and pitch is just one key issue being discussed at the two-day Medworld conference. Medworld is a joint initiative of Munich-based IPK International, founders and producers of the World Travel Monitor, and the Malta Tourism Authority. Latest research from IPK provides perspective to the discussions by assessing the Mediterranean`s share of world tourism and its future growth potential, as well as benchmarking individual destinations in the region against each other in relation to demand from the source markets.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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