Tourism Forum discussed Limits of Growth

“Why we have to rethink the future” was the topic of a keynote speech by the Hamburg trend researcher Birgit Gebhardt at the opening of the International Tourism Forum in Villach, which took place for the first time as part of the European Tolerance Talks at the Hotel Holiday Inn. Well-known experts from business and science discussed the limits of tourism growth in Carinthia’s cultural city, especially with regard to alpine regions such as Carinthia, Tyrol or Salzburg.

Gebhardt explains the phenomenon of mass tourism with the fact that more and more people worldwide have the opportunity to travel also being inspired by mountains, lakes and idyllic landscapes, because you just need to go to any karaoke bar in Asia to see pictures, that remind of Austria. And she warned, “There will be far more travelers from all over the world than before, especially from the affluent middle class. We immediately talk of millions of people when we think of Asian tourists.”

Mass tourism will continue to massively and massively, predicts Gebhardt. But: What we have taken from industrial culture, the masses must be served the same and by standards, that will work in the future completely different. She proposed as a solution to move away from the day’s tourists and to address those target groups that have special wishes or groups of people who are interested in the cultural landscape, traditions and rural working techniques that may no longer be worthwhile today.

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