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WTTC Summit

WTTC and Tony Blair urge West to compete with Asia’s booming travel and tourism industry

This Summit of industry leaders from the private and public sectors will take place in a country whose direct tourist economy grew by 10.4% in 2012, making it the 11th fastest growing tourist economy in the world, and the fastest in Asia.

SEOUL – The launch of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Summit in Korea saw former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and WTTC President David Scowsill join forces to warn western governments not to miss out on the future powerhouse of global wealth creation – Travel and Tourism.

The two-day Summit, which featured a keynote address by former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is looking at how to best exploit the huge projected growth in tourism throughout China, Korea and the wider Pacific region, while urging developed Western nations not to miss out by introducing taxes which will lose more money than they generate.

Revealing how Asia’s travel and tourism sectors is forecast to grow six per cent per annum over the coming decade, Mr Scowsill said: “It is no accident that we are here today for our first Asia Summit. Of the 70 million new jobs Travel & Tourism will stimulate globally by 2023, two thirds – some 47 million – will be in Asia.

“This phenomenal growth will be driven by increasing wealth among Asia’s middle classes, particularly in China. The United Nations describe it as a historic shift, the likes of which has not been seen for 150 years. Asia’s middle class is forecast to triple to 1.7 billion by 2020.”

The need for the West to maintain its market share of the global Travel and Tourism industry was not lost ion Mr Blair, who said: “As this power shifts to the East, the West is going to have to discover a new partnership with the East. The US remains for now the most powerful country but it is likely in time China will become the most powerful country in the world.”

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