WTTC Global Summit 2017: Travel is fundamental right, argues Scowsill
“Travel is not for a privileged few.
“The world and its astonishing beauties are for everyone.
“We believe in the fundamental right of anyone to travel, regardless of their nationality, gender, religion, sexual orientation or age.
“Our sector must be accessible to all,” the words of World Travel & Tourism Council president David Scowsill, in his opening address to the WTTC Global Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.
Scowsill urged over 900 leading figures from the public and private sector to stand up and make a real difference, to think about how they can “transforming our world”.
He added: “We are now seeing the recalibration of global politics, it is becoming clearer that the economic growth we have enjoyed over the past half century, and the globalisation that has driven it, is not working for everyone.
“Governments are calling into question some of the basic freedoms of people movement and trade, upon which all our businesses so depend.”
Scowsill continued that in the face of terrorism and natural disasters, tourism has continued to show resilience as people continue to move around the world.
He added: “The fear engendered by dividing us into races or religions destroys the notion that each human being is unique.
“I believe wholeheartedly that closed borders lead to closed minds; that travel makes the world a better, more peaceful place, and that human encounters across cultures change us for the better.
“This sector plays a vital part in the global quest for a more equal, inclusive and sustainable world. For our sector to continue to thrive we must focus on three elements; people need to be able to travel; we need successful businesses; and we need responsible practices,” Scowsill concluded.
Travel stimulates the economy by generating over $USD7.6 trillion globally, supporting over 292 million jobs, which is now one in ten jobs worldwide.
The sector has grown faster that the global economy consistently in the last six years.
Highlighted as a specific driver of three of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, business and leisure travel will help shape the global agenda for the next 15 years.