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It is all about the numbers again as the first month of the year draws to a close.
Even as the IMF made steep cuts to the global growth outlook, forecasting that the world economy will grow 3.5% in 2015, down from its earlier projection of 3.8%; and Europe is still figuring how to deal with the sharp rise in the value of the Swiss franc, the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer reported that more than 1.1 billion tourists travel abroad in 2014. Moreover, UNWTO estimates that international tourist arrivals will grow between 3-4% for the current year.
The U.S. economy is a bright spot, however, and North America was one of the strongest performers in tourism growth. See story on page 1.
Hawaii. Despite slower growth and a weakening in Japan, its largest international market, Hawaii’s tourism economy soared to new heights in both visitor spending and arrivals in 2014. Page 1.
Los Angeles International Airport also had a banner year, turning in its highest passenger volume since a record set in 2000. Both international and domestic traffic reached new levels. Page 4.
But the most impressive performance goes to Dubai International, which reached more than 70 million international passengers in 2014, solidifying its position as the number one airport in that category. Page 1.
In other news, Dufry exercised its option to buy 20% of Dufry Lojas Francas, its operating entity in Brazil, from minority partner Brasif. Page 1.
Cruise News. The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association names Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman Micky Arison as chairman of its Executive Committee, to replace Kevin Sheehan, who resigned from Norwegian Cruise Lines in early January. FCCA also added four new member lines, and reports that the Caribbean remains the dominant cruise destination in the world. See page 2.
While many cruise companies are looking to Asia to grow the business, Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings this week announced it was establishing a sales and reservations center in Sao Paulo, saying that it sees Brazil as a significant opportunity for growth. Page 2.
Meanwhile, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association has named Frank Comito, a familiar figure in the Bahamas business and tourism sector, as its new CEO and Director General.
MarketPlace Development and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced the winners of the annual Food and Shops Concessions Excellence Awards for Washington Dulles International Airport this week, and a number of familiar travel retailers were cited. Story on page 3.
Giving Back. London Supply raised nearly $650,000 at its 11th annual Charity Golf Tournament held on Jan. 9 in Punta del Este, Uruguay – a new record for the philanthropic leader. Page 3.
Supply Side. Italian wine & spirits producer Bottega S.p.A. has signed a distribution agreement with Interbrands USA for the cruise industry. Brown-Forman announces three new senior executive appointments. Page 3 & 4.