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PATA chief to governments: Tourism is not tobacco

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Staff writer ▼ | September 12, 2013
MartinChief of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Martin Craigs said that governments should stop "taxing and harassing" tourism and focus on building a holistic package to promote it.

Mr. Craigs said many governments are stuck in the old mindset of seeing tourism as "something like alcohol and tobacco that needs to be taxed."

"We (at the PATA) don't see it like that at all. We see travel and tourism as fundamental to societal development, cross-cultural understanding, empathy and enjoyment. It therefore should be nurtured, not taxed and harassed as it is in Europe," he told Yonhap prior to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Asia Summit.

Meanwhile, citing his research, Mr. Craigs said South Korea's tourism industry has become sophisticated and a model for other Asian countries.

"You have a balance between outbound and inbound. You have native people who are passionate about seeing the rest of the world. You are a fashionable location," said Mr. Craigs, noting that it is very healthy and encouraging from all points of view.

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