Today, on World Tourism Day, we call on governments around the world to recognize the central role that our industry plays in their economies today, as well as its leading role as a driver of global sustainable economic recovery.
Travel and tourism acts as a universal bridge connecting people, cultures, and communities all over the world. And at the same time, travel and tourism is a world leader in contributing to the global economy by creating jobs, generating wealth, and improving the quality of life of its citizens. Many governments understand this. Unfortunately, many others do not.
While we fully support the efforts made by some governments to reduce their debt burdens, we do not believe it is good economics to overly tax an industry that is a driver of growth and recovery as taxes on travel and tourism tend to do more harm than good economically. We also urge governments to implement sensible visa policies, which balance the understandable requirements of homeland security with the needs of a sustainable travel and tourism industry.
The World Travel & Tourism Council was formed over 20 years ago by the heads of some of the largest private travel and tourism companies in the world to ensure that governments, the media, and the society understood the enormous economic and social contribution of travel and tourism.
That is still our aim today. Our membership still consists of the heads of the largest and most influential private companies in world travel and tourism. Together our industry accounts for 9% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product – and accounts for 260 million jobs. This makes travel and tourism bigger than the automotive sector and just behind the banking industry. It is a huge driver of world trade and can play a sizeable role in the recovery of the global economy.