World Travel Market Chairman Fiona Jeffery uses opening speech to urge Governments to do more
The world’s governments should do more to support the travel and tourism, Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel Market Fiona Jeffery told the industry yesterday.
Speaking at the World Travel Market VIP Opening & Reception Ceremony, Jeffery said the industry provided more than 235 million jobs last year, representing 8 per cent of international employment. She also highlighted its potential for further growth with international tourist arrivals forecast to reach 1.8 billion by 2030.
Jeffery also highlighted the damage actively done to the travel and tourism industry by the world's Governments, citing the UK Government's planned increase in Air Passenger Duty, the fourth in five years, as well as the US Government's proposed $25 billion raid on airline passengers in the US.
Jeffery said: “While the underlying trend is one of growth for the travel and tourism industry, Governments around the world have it in their power to make a big difference and ensure their countries are reaping the benefits of this vital trade.
“The industry has gone through some tough times recently and with more on the immediate horizon, we would urge the world's Governments to start considering the positive changes they can make now, both in the short and long term.”
Jeffery’s words were supported by a World Travel Market poll of the industry which reveals the industry also feels more support from governments are needed.
Almost a quarter of the 1,029 WTM exhibitors and buyers polled, said their government gives the industry no support al all, reveals the World Travel Market 2011 Industry Report released today. More than half said their government gives the industry limited support.
Jeffery was joined at the VIP Opening & Reception Ceremony by a member of the UK Government, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt as well as a number of other dignitaries including Olympic Rower James Cracknell.
World Travel Market runs until Thursday 10 November. During that time more than 300 expert speakers will appear in 111 seminars, making this year's WTM the biggest ever. The event's fifth Ministers’ Summit, organised in association with UNWTO on Tuesday 8 November will again bring together the private and public sectors.
WTM World Responsible Tourism Day on Wednesday 9 November will feature Fairtrade Foundation Executive Director Harriet Lamb, whose work is dedicated to lifting communities out of poverty. Wednesday afternoon will also see a focus on the explosion in growth of the BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, economies with representatives in government, business and tourism from all five of them meeting.
Meanwhile Thursday 10 November will see the second World Travel Market Business Day held with the aim of giving a helping hand to small and medium-sized businesses.
Jeffery said: “This is our biggest event to date and highlights the breadth and depth of this extraordinary industry. We are confident that everyone attending can look forward to agreeing deals, making new contacts and discovering the latest trends to help them when they go back to their businesses.”