February 09, 2007

Jim Dator on the Future of Tourism

Attendees at the ASEAN Tourism Conference had the opportunity to hear Jim Dator of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii. His core message: “It may be equally misleading to assume that tourism will continue to grow as a world industry in the future as it has in the past.”

In this quote from Imtiaz Muqbil's Travel Impact Newswire he cites aging and energy shortages but he could easily have emphsaized that aging will bring Universal Design issues to the forefront of discussion:

He added, “There are very good reasons to believe that the global political-economic system that has dominated the world since the end of the Second World War may not continue much longer.” One driver will be global demographics, including the fact that in “more and more parts of the world, population is no longer growing” creating a “youth gap” in almost all developed countries even as the number and percentage of old people--and of very old people--is growing.”

Among the nations of Southeast Asia, there is great variability. The youth bulge is over and aging is setting in for Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, and Indonesia. It is expected to continue for another few years in Brunei and Cambodia. For Malaysia, the Philippines, and Laos, the youth bulge may extend even longer. The countries of South, Central, and Western Asia are still growing with a very substantial youth component.

Equally important, Prof Dator said, is the question of whether people of all age groups “will be able to continue to move around the globe as easily as many have been able to do in recent decades?” Here he pointed to the imminent end of the era of cheap and abundant oil.

Posted by rollingrains at February 9, 2007 01:22 PM