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BRICS Rivalled in Holiday Stakes by SLIMMAs

With much talk of the increasing number of cheap holidays to the so-called “Brics” countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – the World Travel Market (WTM) is determined that people are not kept in the dark about another acronym that could prove important for the international tourism industry, and that acronym is SLIMMA.

No, it’s not a revolutionary new diet supplement, SLIMMA actually refers to the nations of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Argentina. The reason for the coining of this phrase? The WTM’s 2011 Industry Report has flagged all these destinations as five places that are set to become more and more popular among international holidaymakers. The report even said that these five could provide serious competition for the BRICS nations in the tourism stakes.

Sri Lanka holidays were said to be growing in popularity as the country recovers from its civil war and invests millions in tourism infrastructure – enabling more visitors to appreciate its great natural beauty. Indonesia, on the other hand drew praise for its fascinating diverse culture and people, and the population’s growing prosperity.

Indonesia was mentioned in the WTM’s report for its strenuous efforts to develop its tourism industry and its strong marketing campaigns for the country, as well as its relative levels of freedom compared to some other states in the region.

In Latin America, cheap holidays in Mexico were flagged by WTM because of the country’s improved tourism infrastructure, its low holiday and sales taxes and a high level of disposable income, while Argentina was praised as an up-and-coming holiday destination which offered variety and good value for money.

Last year, it was the BRICS countries which drew the most plaudits and were seen as the best opportunities for growth in tourism over 2011. Of these five countries, China was seen as the most important due to its outstanding natural beauty, an increasing number of direct flights and its ever-growing economy.