G20 recognizes Travel & Tourism as a driver of economic growth for the first time and commits to work on travel facilitation
PR No.: PR12040
The G20 world leaders have, for the first time, recognized the importance of Travel & Tourism as a driver of jobs, growth and economic recovery.
The Leaders’ Declaration from the annual meeting of the G20 world leaders, held in Los Cabos, Mexico, on 18-19 June, recognizes "the role of travel and tourism as a vehicle for job creation, economic growth and development” and commits to “work towards developing travel facilitation initiatives in support of job creation, quality work, poverty reduction and global growth.”
This is the first time that Travel & Tourism has been included in the G20 Leaders’ Declaration and is the culmination of long-term efforts by the industry, led by UNWTO and WTTC, to encourage world leaders to see the potential of Travel & Tourism to create millions of new jobs and billions of dollars of GDP.
According to WTTC, the industry will directly contribute US$ 2 trillion in GDP and 100 million jobs to the global economy in 2012. When the wider economic impacts of the industry are taken into account, Travel & Tourism is forecast to contribute some US$ 6.5 trillion to the global economy and generate 260 million jobs – or 1 in 12 of all jobs on the planet.
Research by the two organizations, released at the T20 Ministers Meeting, showed that the G20 could boost their international tourist numbers by an additional 122 million, generate an extra US$ 206 billion in tourism exports and create over five million additional jobs by 2015 by improving visa processes and entry formalities. Findings showed that of the 656 million international tourists who visited G20 countries in 2011, an estimated 110 million needed a visa, while millions more were deterred from traveling by the cost, waiting time and difficulty of obtaining a visa. Facilitating visas for these tourists, many from some of the world’s fastest growing source markets such as the BRICs, could stimulate demand, spending and ultimately create millions of new jobs in the G20 economies.
Speaking after the publication of the G20 Leaders’ Declaration, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai and WTTC President & CEO, David Scowsill said:
“We commend the G20 world leaders for recognizing the importance of Travel & Tourism as a driver of economic growth and job creation for the first time and stand ready to support all efforts by the G20 countries in this respect. This is a significant success for the industry and could not have happened without the support of President Calderon, a leader who truly understands the socio-economic value of tourism and its potential to create new jobs in such difficult economic times, and without the commitment of Secretary Gloria Guevara, who so successfully chaired the T20 (Tourism Ministers of G20 countries) last month. Mexico is an example in marketing its extraordinary tourism destinations, but also in tourism policy namely through significant advances in visa policies which encourage more inbound tourists.
By facilitating visas, the G20 countries stand to gain five million jobs at a time of rampant unemployment across the world. These are in addition to the hundreds of millions of direct and indirect jobs already being supported every day by the sector.”
Principal Media Officer: Marcelo Risi
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