One in four senior travel executives from around the globe claim their government is not doing enough to help tourism, reveals the World Travel Market 2011 Industry Report 2011 released at WTM.
World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, polled more than 1,000 buyer members from the WTM Meridian Club and exhibitors at this year’s event about a number of issues affecting the tourism industry.
The report offers a truly global perspective from industry leaders.
Travel and tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, supporting more than 258 million jobs worldwide and generating some 9.1 per cent in global Gross Domestic product, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
Despite tourism’s importance to the global economy, more than half the sample (55 per cent) said their government only supported tourism “to a limited extent”.
However, the balance is polarised between the 22 per cent who said their government was greatly behind tourism and 24% who said there was no support at all.
Reed Travel Exhibitions chairman World Travel Market, Fiona Jeffery, said: “The UNWTO Ministers Summit at WTM will do everything possible to persuade governments that investing in their tourism industry is a proven catalyst for economic growth, jobs and social mobility.”
Nearly two hundred ministers and aides have confirmed their attendance at this year’s Summit.
It is the fifth time that WTM has hosted what is the only event of its type among the global travel event calendar.
The World Travel Market 2011 Industry Report also found that many senior travel bosses were concerned about government-imposed levels of taxation, while its poll of British holidaymakers found taxes are having a profound impact on holiday choices.
Over the past year, many city authorities have added local tourism taxes on top of government charges, increasing costs for domestic and international visitors alike.
“APD is the most obvious example of how the British government is not helping tourism, although VAT on accommodation and eating out is also an issue in the UK,” Jeffery added.
“Australia’s proposed carbon tax could have the same damaging effect on another top-ten destination.
“City taxes such as those in New York or Florence are potentially damaging too.”
However, Jeffery was able to refer to other countries where tourism was backed at the highest level.
“At last year’s UNWTO Ministers’ Summit, China was heralded for its government’s commitment to helping inbound and outbound tourism. Mexico, Italy and Argentina also received plaudits for the positive approach their governments have to tourism.”