The World Travel & Tourism Council has today urged governments to recognise the vast economic and social contribution of travel and tourism - particularly as a driver of sustainable economic growth and revival.
Speaking on World Tourism Day, WTTC president David Scowsill, said: “Today, on World Tourism Day, we call on governments around the world to recognise 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, the sector 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.
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 the industry.
“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,” added Scowsill.
“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.
“Our Membership still consists of the heads of the largest and most influential private companies in world tourism.
“Together our industry accounts for nine per cent 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,” concluded Scowsill.
David Scowsill was speaking at the Hotel Investment Conference Africa.