Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.


February 20 2014

Soundbites from WTO’s Rifai.

Soundbites (may be paraphrased) from Taleb Rifai, head of the World Tourism Organization.


Figures generally indicate that the Olympic Games do not produce additional visitors. What is your opinion?

You have to look at the big picture. It is not about the month or even the year. You will probably not see good data. You may even see some reduction for understandable reasons. The importance of the Olympics is how to use them for the good of the country. The days after the Olympics are much more important.


What have you done with the infrastructure that was prepared? How have you used the services, facilitation etc?


An example is that for our annual meeting in Zambia and Zimbabwe they cleaned the streets, they upgraded the hospitals and schools, and people were grateful. They also opened the border between the two for the event, and when they found that created no problem, they decided to leave it open.


This is the importance of big events – what you leave as a legacy. To focus on the numbers before, during, and immediately after, is very short-sighted.



Why cannot Taiwan become an associate member of WTO?

As a UN body, the matter of membership is not in our hands. But even associate members become members with the agreement of our main members. I cannot talk much about Taiwan because I have never visited it. I know it is an advanced destination in terms of services and quality.


I would like to integrate the tourism community in the entire region into an international community. (Sic; political talk, where the meaning is absent or open to any interpretation.)

(Rifai appears to have made a political mistake. By saying he cannot comment on a destination he has not visited, he is admitting that Taiwan is separate. Yet in the UN’s un-real political world, Taiwan is part of China, and he has visited China, so he can comment on Taiwan. In addition, despite what he said and although he is widely travelled, he does comment on places he has not visited.)



What will your agreement with JATA produce?

This is the first agreement we have signed in Asia, but we have signed many with many other organisations. We will be leading the conference at JATA’s Tabihaku starting every year from 2014 – just as we do at ITB, WTM, and others. For instance at WTM we have had a ministerial roundtable for the past six years. At ITB [Berlin] we have the Silk Road forum.


(This is not how we would interpret ‘leading’. This indicates that WTO will simply hold its own conference as part of the Tabihaku conference.)


Also, we will set a research agenda, and direct our research resources to things that are relevant to Japan and Asia. There also might be someone from JATA to stay and work with us in Madrid.


No other agreements are planned – although we may become more involved in the Macau Forum, and we probably will sign an agreement with ITB Asia at the right time.





The Fox

Remember, I’ll be famous after I’m dead.