The World Travel Market

November 12, 2007 04:00 ET

World Travel Market: There's No Place Like Home

THE RISE AND RISE OF DIASPORA TOURISM

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 12, 2007) - With the prediction that by 2031 the population of the UK will rise to over 70 million, with 70% of the rise over the next twenty years attributable to immigration, a new type of tourism is set to have a major impact on the travel industry - Diaspora tourism.

With projected net immigration projected at 230,000 each year until 2012, many immigrants are looking to return to their roots, making the most of cheaper travel, thanks to an increase in low cost carriers serving Eastern Europe.

Outlined in the World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2007 released today (Monday), in partnership with market intelligence firm Euromonitor International, Diaspora tourism can be divided into three distinct segments - heritage, residential and festival.

"Heritage tourism is predominantly driven by Diaspora tourists that wish to discover their ancestry and heritage", said Fiona Jeffery, Chairman of World Travel Market, the leading business to business event for the international travel and tourism industry, held in London this week.

"Heritage tourists tend to be older and from middle income groups travelling back to their home country for one or two weeks and stay in hotel or private accommodation. They often use the services of a local to help them trace their family background and take short language or culinary courses. They tend to travel with their immediate families who account for 21% of leisure arrivals to Eastern Europe with a 4% growth over 2005-2006.

"Residential tourists encompass Eastern Europeans that live and work abroad who have invested or plan to invest in property in their country of origin whilst Festival tourists include Diaspora tourists travelling back for important events and festivals such as Easter, Christmas, weddings and christenings. They spend more when they return to their home country on shopping and entertainment as costs are much lower than in their adopted country."

Clement Wong, Euromonitor' Global Travel and Tourism Research Manager said: "Some travel outlets are now beginning to cater to the influx of Eastern Europe travellers by creating niche agencies that provide resources for Diaspora tourists.

"We've also seen some tourism boards, particularly Slovakia, targeting their own countrymen abroad as a way to compensate for the fall in domestic tourism."

For further information on the above, key concepts and themes during World Travel Market, exhibitor activity and events, please refer to www.wtmlondon.com or contact the World Travel Market Press Office on +44 (0) 1580 201178.

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