European Tourism Forum

The 5th European Tourism Forum was held November 16 and 17 in Cyprus at the Hawaii Grand Hotel & Resort, a five-star property in Lemesos (Limassol). The European Commission, the Finnish Presidency and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus co-hosted the forum, said to be the largest annual tourism event conducted by the Commission.

Prominent industry leaders, academics and policy makers were represented at this year’s forum. Planning sessions and workshops were scheduled to give attendees the opportunity to speak out on issues of consumer security, electronic reservation systems, timesharing, public-private partnerships and cruise tourism, along with other concerns of the travel and hospitality industry.

Key topics included new trends in the tourism industry, specifically the consumer trends to take more and shorter holidays and to be more brand loyal and less price conscious. Other key topics of discussion looked at online travel booking trends, a market that will reach $70 billion in the US alone by the end of 2006. The European Tourism Forum is especially concerned with boosting travel, tourism and timesharing in Europe, all of which have lagged behind the US in recent years. The slower growth is partially attributed to a slower increase in internet usage in European countries as compared to the US or in Asia Pacific countries, where it is growing exponentially.