Sri Lanka UN tourism confab to debate media

Mar 22, 2011 (LBO) - Sri Lanka will host a United Nations backed tourism conference covering Asia Pacific which will also debate the role of media in tourism, an official said. The sessions include a one day seminar on "Mainstreaming tourism in the media" which will see the participation of international media and marketing experts.

UNWTO says since 1950 international tourist trips have grow over 6.0 percent a year with tourism revenues growing 11 percent a year. It is now estimated to 5.0 percent of world gross domestic product, 30 percent of services exports and one it 12 of all jobs.

But news coverage of negative events can hurt industry. Sri Lanka's war, bombings and human rights abuses for example hurt the industry for years.

"While intended as a comprehensive debate on the overall role of the media in tourism, the seminar takes Sri Lanka as its specific case study," UNWTO's conference website said.

"It will look at the relevance of tourism for the country’s development after three decades of political and social unrest and subsequent negative headlines around the world.

"The debate will naturally concentrate on tourism as a key vehicle to rebui

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