Tourism Leaders Meet in Paris to Develop Future for Industry


(Paris) Sixty of the most influential business executives in the travel and tourism industry will converge on Paris for the World Travel & Tourism Council`s 2002 Annual General Meeting today, Friday 17 May 2002, to develop a clear vision for the future of the travel and tourism industry around the world.
The chief executives, representing some of the world`s leading companies operating in the travel and tourism industry, and all members of the private sector organisation, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), will meet to exchange ideas, challenge current industry ideology and develop a framework for the continued prosperity of the industry for the future, and its commitment to sustainable growth.


Jean-Claude Baumgarten, President of the World Travel & Tourism Council believes 2002 is one of the most critical years in the history of the industry, in that it is facing remarkable challenges and opportunities for the future. “This year`s conference will be extremely valuable not only to the members of WTTC, but to the entire travel and tourism industry around the world,” says Baumgarten. “It is a time to take stock, not only of how far we have come, but how far we want to go in the future, and in what shape we want that process to take,” he says.


The conference which is entitled “Toward a New World Order?”, sets out to challenge some of the commonly held beliefs the industry has developed over the past several years, and examine the feasibility of a new long-term framework across all sector areas.


WTTC has been instrumental in working with governments to address problems and provide solutions for the travel and tourism industry following the dramatic impact of September 11. Tourism economic research recently produced by WTTC, Tourism Satellite Accounts, shows that the worldwide industry has suffered badly due to the global impact of September 11, with an accumulative loss of 7.4 per cent in travel and tourism demand, and the loss of 10 million jobs equivalents, in years 2001 and 2002. But WTTC expects the industry will rebound in 2003 with a massive growth rate of six per cent after a year of stabilisation and recovery in 2002.


According to Baumgarten, a massive worldwide rebound will occur in 2003 with global travel and tourism demand forecast to increase in real terms by six per cent. “During this process we will see the creation of 6.8 million jobs, replacing most of the business and jobs lost in the extended wake of September 11,” he says.

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The research also shows a strong positive growth trend for the industry over the next decade with long-term annual growth at 4.5 per cent for the global industry.


During the AGM the Council will launch four new research reports on the following hot topics facing the industry: Taxation Policy; Infrastructure; Human Resources; and Information Technology/E-commerce. The reports are the product of twelve months of work by WTTC taskforce initiatives established during the 2001 Annual General Meeting in Vancouver Canada, comprising a mix of industry leaders - WTTC members, academics and government officials. The reports will be available for free download from WTTC`s website (www.wttc.org), as part of its continued drive to further industry excellence for all players working in the industry.


The Council will also deliver its long-term strategy for corporate social leadership within travel and tourism, and outline how the industry can act as a mechanism to bridge the gap between the “have and have nots”.


The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the forum for global business leaders in travel and tourism comprising the presidents, chairs and chief executive officers of 100 of the world`s foremost companies. It is the only body representing the private sector in all parts of the travel and tourism industry worldwide.


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