09/09/2003 - Bringing new ideas to tourism to help reinforce the industry’s resilience to economic and political crises will be the theme of a special Conference on Innovation and Growth in Tourism in Lugano, Switzerland from 18-19 September 2003.
The tourist industry is facing challenging times. As well as the threat of terrorism and the impact of the recent economic slowdown, experts say the sector globally is suffering from overcapacity and that many services and products no longer match the demands of today’s tourists.
Tourism experts, industry representatives and government officials will look at the role public policy can play in stimulating the introduction of new methods, products and services to boost profits in a sector which is highly fragmented. Although the large international tour operators, airline companies and hotel chains are able to benefit from economies of scale, tourism services are dominated by small and medium sized companies. Innovation and co-operation could well be crucial to future growth.
Organised by the OECD’s Tourism Committee, the two-day conference will be held at the University of Lugano, via Giuseppe Buffi 13, Lugano, and will be open to journalists. For further information or to register for the conference, journalists should consult the conference web site or contact Alain Dupeyras of the OECD’s Transport division (tel:  1 4524 91 45) or Stephen Di Biasio of the Media relations division (tel:  1 4524 81 03).