WORLD TRAVEL & TOURISM COUNCIL REPORTS
Travel and tourism added 7.2 million jobs to the global economy in 2015, supporting a total of 284 million jobs or one in every 11 jobs around the world, according to the annual economic impact report from the World Travel & Tourism Council.
"Despite uncertainty in the global economy and specific challenges to travel and tourism last year, the sector grew by 3.7 percent," or nearly 10 percent of the global gross domestic product, according to David Scowsill, CEO of the WTTC. "Terror attacks, disease outbreaks, currency fluctuations and geopolitical challenges have impacted the sector at a country or regional level, but travel and tourism at the global level continues to produce another robust performance."
The industry outperformed economic growth in 127 of the 184 countries included in the research. The growth of tourism in relation to national GDP was particularly strong in Iceland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Uganda, the report said.
The WTTC attributed the growth worldwide to more middle-class households, aging populations, which tend to travel more, and "growing connectivity between destinations," which the WTTC said makes travel "more accessible and affordable."
Southeast Asia was the fastest growing region with growth in the travel and tourism sector of 7.9 percent; followed by South Asia, which grew 7.4 percent; growth in the Middle East of 5.9 percent; in the Caribbean of 5.1 percent; in sub-Saharan Africa of 3.3 percent; in North America, 3.1 percent; Europe, 2.5 percent; Northeast Asia, 2.1 percent; Latin America, 1.5 percent; and North Africa, 1.4 percent.
The WTTC also reported that the strong U.S. dollar contributed heavily to growth in the Americas, with U.S. outbound travel and tourism expenditures growing 6.3 percent in 2015.
Chinese outbound travel, meanwhile, soared, with Chinese expenditures on outbound travel growing 53 percent in 2015 to $215 billion, making it a major factor in global travel spending.
NEW MEXICO EVENTS
Tribal gatherings, art fairs and more are scheduled to take place around New Mexico over the next few months.
The 33rd annual Gathering of Nations Pow Wow unfolds in Albuquerque April 28-30, with nearly 3,000 people from more than 700 North American tribes expected to attend. The event is open to the public and includes singing and dancing competitions, food, music and displays of work by more than 800 artists.
A country music festival is scheduled for April 29-May 1 in Las Cruces, headlined by Lee Ann Womack and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, along with David Nail and Cam, Rick Trevino and Aaron Watson. Events include a songwriters workshop, cowboy brunch, unplugged concert, rodeo and Western fashion show.
The Outside Bike & Brew event in Santa Fe, May 19-22, celebrates the state's craft beer industry along with its cycling culture and opportunities. Events include movies, tastings and concerts.
The National Institute of Flamenco and the University of New Mexico host the Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque, June 12-18, with performances, workshops and lectures.
The International Folk Art Market takes over Milner Plaza on Museum Hill in Santa Fe, July 8-10, featuring artisans from more than 50 countries selling wares and crafts ranging from jewelry to textiles to ceramics. Many of the artists are from impoverished communities, and the market is structured so that 90 percent of what they earn goes home with them.
The Los Alamos ScienceFest, July 14-17, explores the history of Los Alamos, where the world's first atomic bombs were developed during World War II. The event will include tours and hiking, food, live music, and demonstrations and activities geared for young budding scientists
CALIFORNIA CAMPGROUND GUIDE
Planning a camping trip in California? A free printed guide to campgrounds around the state is available.
"Camp-California! The Camper's Guide to California" lists privately owned campgrounds, RV parks and resorts, along with a few state and county park campgrounds. Listings note amenities such as Wi-Fi, pools and cabins. The directory also lists dog-friendly beaches and food and wine events. It doesn't include national park campgrounds found on recreation.gov.
You can get a copy mailed to you by calling 530-885-1624 or by visiting Camp-California.com. There's also a downloadable app version, but the printed version is designed for use by road-trippers who may end up in areas where they won't have good cellphone access to online information.