Read the text and answer Questions 1 - 13
A The rise of emerging economies marks the third revolution the travel industry has undergone in the past 50 years. The first came in the 1960s, in the shape of cheap air travel and package tours. Rising incomes enabled people of modest means to travel more, to farther-flung parts of the globe, and to take advantage of “all-in” offers that may have included sightseeing trips, scuba diving or camel rides. The second was the advent of the internet, which has allowed millions to book flights, hotels, hire cars and package tours without going near a high-street travel agent.
B Now fast-growing emerging economies-not just Dubai but also the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and others, such as South Korea and Vietnam-are changing the world of travel once again, either as destinations or as sources of newly affluent travellers. Often, citizens of these countries are visiting similar, emerging lands. Last year, for example, Russians made a total of 34.3m trips abroad, up from 29.1m in 2006. Turkey was their most popular destination, followed by China and Egypt. The Chinese head the table of visitors to Vietnam.
C The WTTC claims that travel and tourism is the world's biggest industry in terms of its contribution to global GDP and employment. The lobby group forecasts that global travel and tourism will account for $5.9 trillion of economic activity in 2008, or about 10% of global GDP, employing 238m people. It expects employment to rise to 296m in the next decade. In fact, assessing the scale of the industry is not straightforward. When all travel and tourism is lumped together, so that everything from airlines to cafés counts, it is no surprise that the WTTC's total is so large. As a rule, restaurants do not record whether they are serving tourists, business travellers or locals out for a meal.
D For the next year or two, the travel industry is likely to find its long-standing customers in rich Western countries a less than reliable source of growth. As American families plan their holidays, many will be worrying about the frailty of their country's economy, the rising cost of petrol and-for those venturing outside the United States-the weakness of the dollar. They are delaying booking in the hope of nabbing cheap, last-minute deals. They certainly seem to be spending less. On May 7th Orbitz, an American online travel-firm, posted a first-quarter net loss of $15m compared with a net loss of $10m a year earlier. The majority of its business is domestic bookings, which were 6% lower in the first quarter than a year earlier, at
E For faster growth, the industry will have to look to emerging economies. These are becoming increasingly well established as places to visit. Now they are starting to provide more visitors too. According to McKinsey, a consulting firm, by the middle of the next decade almost a billion people will see their annual household incomes rise beyond $5,000-roughly the threshold for spending money on discretionary goods and services rather than simple necessities. Consumers' spending power in emerging economies will rise from $4 trillion in 2006 to more than $9 trillion-nearly the spending power of western Europe today.
F Some of that extra purchasing power will go on travel, at home and abroad. Western companies are flocking into the developing world to prepare for these new tourists. “The Middle East, India and China are the next big thing,” predicts Bill Marriott, the chairman and chief executive of Marriott, an American hotel chain. He thinks that the industry will be bigger in the Middle East, where he is planning to build 65 hotels by 2011, than in India. China will dwarf even the Middle East.
G Last year the number of visits abroad by the Chinese reached 47m, 5m more than the number of foreign visitors to China. The Chinese also made 1.6 billion trips at home-a staggering total, but not much more than one each. According to WTTC forecasts, Chinese demand for travel and tourism will quadruple in value in the next ten years. At present China ranks a distant second, behind the United States, in terms of demand, but by 2018 it will have closed much of the gap.
H Other emerging economies have woken up to the spending power of Chinese tourists. Mexico is one: AeroMéxico will begin direct flights between Mexico City and Shanghai at the end of May. The plan is to fly twice a week. In Vietnam, home to one of the fastest-growing tourist industries in the world, Chinese and other Asian tourists are overtaking Westerners. In the first 11 months of last year 507,000 visitors came to Vietnam from China, along with 442,000 from South Korea and 376,000 from America. The Tourism Authority of Thailand is also counting on more Chinese custom. It forecasts that 1.3m Chinese will visit the country this year, 10% more than last year when visitors were put off by Thailand's unsettled politics.
Questions 14 -18
Choose A, B or C.