World Travel & Tourism Council

The Authority on World Travel & Tourism

WTTC’s President urges Travel & Tourism industry

9 April 2013 David Scowsill, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling on the global Travel & Tourism industry “to grasp the mantle of leadership in order to influence”.

In his opening speech at the WTTC 13th Global Summit in Abu Dhabi, which he is currently delivering to more than one thousand delegates from around the world – the largest gathering of any WTTC Global Summit - Mr Scowsill is urging the Travel & Tourism industry to “not only influence at industry level but at world level, not only within government chambers, but in boardrooms, in the media, amongst employees and within supply chains”.

Industry, national and world leaders – from chairmen and chief executives to presidents and government ministers – have come together in Abu Dhabi this afternoon and tomorrow (9-10 April) to discuss the industry’s responsibilities as it plans for future growth in international travel, whilst meeting its moral and commercial obligations to people, the planet and profits. The title of this year’s Global Summit is ‘A Time for Leadership’.

Over the next 10 years, Travel & Tourism GDP is set to grow by 4.4% on average per year, outpacing growth in the wider economy and other industries, notably retail and public services. By 2023, Travel & Tourism’s total economic contribution is forecast to account for 10% of global GDP, US$10.5 trillion dollars and 1 in 10 jobs. Total Travel & Tourism employment is forecast to increase by more than 70 million jobs over the next decade, with two-thirds of those additional jobs in Asia. Asia will continue to lead growth, with annual average growth of over 6%, driven by increasing wealth among its middle classes. By 2023, WTTC forecasts that China will overtake the United States as the world’s largest Travel & Tourism economy, measured in total GDP terms and the size of the outbound market. David adds; “Leadership is about influence. How do we facilitate the growth of our industry responsibly and sustainably, without destroying our planet in the process? How do we manage the growth in demand for international travel from the 2 billion new middle class consumers emerging from burgeoning economies of China and India? How do we prepare for the next 1 billion international travellers crossing country borders each year? The Global Summit will aim to give greater direction and insight into the responsibilities ahead of us as leaders”.

He continues; “I believe that we are now showing the kind of leadership that is befitting of an industry that can generate growth, jobs, prosperity and sustainability at both global and regional level, like no other industry on this planet. With leadership, however, comes responsibility. The world is changing dramatically. Global economies are shifting, populations are growing, social classes are fluctuating, and the world’s wealth is being redistributed. Consequently there will be a shift in the ‘world order’ of Travel & Tourism. This is our Time for Leadership”.

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About WTTC: The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism. It promotes sustainable growth for the industry, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. In 2012 Travel & Tourism accounted for 260 million jobs globally. At US$6.6 trillion (9.3% of GDP) the sector is a key driver for investment and economic growth. For more than 20 years, the World Travel & Tourism Council has been the voice of this industry globally. Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world’s leading, private sector Travel & Tourism businesses. These Members bring specialist knowledge to guide government policy and decision-making, raising awareness of the importance of the industry as an economic generator of prosperity. WTTC’s milestones and achievements over the last 12 months include:

• WTTC called at the Global Summit in Japan last year for the industry to act as ‘One Voice’. As part of the One Voice campaign, the Travel Association Coalition was formed to speak in unison on the central issues affecting the industry.

• WTTC has lobbied heads of state over the potential for increasing visitors, the economic benefits and creation of jobs, if visa policies and processes were improved. WTTC undertook a joint study with UNWTO to determine the economic value of improvements in visa procedures and policies. The research showed that such improvements could generate up to 112 million additional tourists over 3 years, increase tourism receipts by up to US$ 206 billion and generate 5 million extra jobs. The results formed the basis of discussions at the meeting of the Ministers for Tourism of the G20 countries – the T20 – in Mexico last May. The T20 produced a declaration from that meeting which was submitted to the world’s G20 Leaders in Mexico last June. G20 world leaders recognised the importance of Travel & Tourism as a driver of jobs, growth and economic recovery and committed to working towards developing visa facilitation initiatives in support of job creation, quality work, poverty reduction and global growth.

• WTTC’s Global Leaders for Tourism Initiative – the Golden Book - continued apace. More than 46 world leaders have now endorsed the campaign by accepting a joint letter presented by UNWTO and WTTC asking them to acknowledge the contribution made by Travel & Tourism in facing today’s global challenges.

• WTTC has lobbied governments over taxation; aviation and airport taxes, particularly, but in many countries around the world, there are additional hotel taxes, food & beverage taxes and even culture taxes. WTTC is lobbying governments to stop viewing passengers and tourists as a revenue source and realise that they are a revenue generator.