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Role of Travel and Tourism in Job Creation and Economy

WTTC says its work is far from done, gov’ts “do not fully recognize” travel and tourism’s power to create jobs and economy

Nelson Alcantara  May 27, 2010

BEIJING, China (eTN) - At the ongoing World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) annual global summit, which is being held in China's capital city of Beijing, the organization that is comprised of about 100 chief executives from various facets of the industry has called on governments to work with the private sector and create policies that help travel and tourism thrive. The organization cited the industry’s resilience as evidence of its potential to lead the world out of recession, by creating jobs and increasing prosperity.

According to WTTC, it publishes a Progress & Priorities Report 2009/10, which was unveiled here at the tenth global travel and tourism summit. The organization said the report “highlights a subdued recovery in the short term, with momentum increasing through 2010 into 2011.” The report, WTTC says, urges greater government representation – from developed nations particularly – in discussions with the private sector that could unlock the industry’s potential to lead that recovery.

“The leaders of many destinations come to our summit because they see the value of debating barriers to inward investment with the chairmen and chief executives of the world’s foremost Travel & Tourism businesses,” said Jean-Claude Baumgarten president and CEO of WTTC.

“It is hugely promising that a country like China, where we host our Summit, has become the first major economy to have fully recognized the potential of Travel & Tourism at the highest level of his government. But, as unemployment rates rise across Europe, the UK and the USA, it is disappointing that other large and mature destinations do not give similar recognition to an industry that supports so many millions of jobs.”

Despite making significant progress over the past 20 years of WTTC’s existence, the London-based organization said its “work is far from complete.” The majority of governments still do not fully recognize travel and tourism’s contribution to economic growth and employment, let alone its flow-through effects on the wider economy and social well-being.

In the report, WTTC reiterated its mission to speak as one voice for the industry to persuade governments of the value of travel and tourism’s to their national economies. It revealed that travel and tourism’s continues to be a leading employer with an estimated 235 million employed directly or in related sectors – 1 in every 12 jobs. It contributes over 9 percent of global GDP.

WTTC says its work is far from done, gov’ts “do not fully recognize” travel and tourism’s power to create jobs and economy
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