Governments and private sector companies must ensure the social and economic benefits of tourism are spread across all destinations and communities across the world, the president of the World Travel & Tourism Council has argued.
At the WTTC Global Summit in Hainan, China, David Scowsill, took to the stage to urge the Industry and governments to work together to make a positive difference.
He said: “Tourism has a unique power to be a force for good in a problematic and unpredictable world. Governments need tourism to support the processes of nation building and disaster recovery.
“They need tourism to provide bridges to increase international cooperation and to help foster greater understanding between societies.”
However, Scowsill said not all governments take the economic and social benefits of the sector seriously yet.
He continued: “Too many Governments around the world fail to acknowledge the vast potential of our industry.
“This leads to deficiencies like destructive border policies, exorbitant taxes and poor long-term infrastructure planning.
“All these prevent progress and growth. This needs to change”.
Over the course of the Global Summit WTTC will explore ‘Changing world, new perspectives’ and examine the role of the industry as a force for good in the world with headline contributions from Jeffrey Katzenberg, Yao Ming, economist Dame DeAnne Julius as well as many other industry leaders.
Public and private sector heads from outside and inside the industry and government ministers from all continents will attend the Summit to explore and challenge current received wisdoms and their relevance for the near future.
They will define a new proposition that goes beyond the economic agenda, identifying how businesses can benefit from this new way of thinking.
The significance of Travel and Tourism as a ‘Force for Good’ has increasingly become recognised by some key world leaders.
At last year’s WTTC Global Summit in Abu Dhabi, Bill Clinton said: “I have seen that peace works better than conflict and one of the best manifestations of this is in travel and tourism.”
Scowsill also explained why the Summit has come to China this year.
He continued: “During the past four years, the topic of China has been very much at the forefront of our discussions at our Global Summits.
“Like most industries, we have watched the impact of the Asia Miracle on our sector as China pursued its destiny of becoming the powerhouse of the world economy.
“It is widely accepted that, in the next ten-15 years, China will overtake the United States to become not only the biggest tourism contributor in the world but, indeed, the biggest economy in the world.”
Breaking Travel News has the full text of David Scowsill’s speech, here.