Tourism and the G20 summit


As world leaders grapple with today’s unprecedented global economic conditions, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has said it wants to stress the potential for tourism and travel to support short-term stimulus actions, as well as longer-term transformation to a green economy, coherent with development and climate imperatives.

Several G20 states have already included “s” travel in their own stimulus programs. Encouraging domestic travel is good for consumer confidence: international travel has the added value of strengthening trade flows. Action to boost promotion, simplify regulation, build infrastructure, and rationalize taxes in turn incites companies to invest, innovate, and stimulate demand. This kind of public–private sector collaboration should be strongly advanced within and between all states – it will help build resilience and buoyancy across economies.

Tourism is a primary vehicle for job creation and economic regeneration, UNWTO said. “Tourism currently drives some 6 percent of jobs in G20 economies with a strong multiplier effect on related service, manufacturing and agriculture sectors, which depend on travel demand. It is one of the largest employment sectors in most countries and a fast-entry vehicle into the workforce for young people and women in urban and rural communities.”

According to UNWTO, tourism and travel represents some 5 percent of GDP of G20 countries and 27 percent of their services trade. It is even more significant for the world’s poorest countries where it is a mainstay of their economies, a key factor in employment and exports, as well as a vital lifeline for their development.

Tourism and travel can be a leader in the shift towards the green economy, the tourism organization added. “Accounting for some 5 percent of carbon emissions, the sector is committed to respond to climate change by adaptation, mitigation, and new technology. Better conservation, reduced congestion, renewable energy, clean biofuels, climate proofing of buildings, as well as green consumer awareness and staff training are clear opportunities for hospitality and transport companies to move to a more sustainable economy.”

UNWTO also said that encouraging travel will strengthen two way trade – promoting essential export income for the poorest countries and improving performance of global suppliers who are largely from G20 member states. “It will support consumer and business confidence, create jobs, and put the green economy into action.”