Roadmap for Recovery: Tourism & Travel

Roadmap for Recovery: Tourism & Travel

A Primary Vehicle for Job Creation and Economic Recovery

The Roadmap for Recovery is addressed to world leaders and decision makers as they seek to stimulate the global economy, support developing countries and accelerate the transition to a Green Economy.

It aims to show how the Tourism sector can contribute to the ongoing actions to respond to the crisis by creating jobs, promoting trade and enhancing development.

The Roadmap for Recovery is a set of strategic guidelines based on three interlocking action areas: Resilience – Stimulus – Green Economy – to support the global economy and the tourism sector.

This document was formulated by UN Tourism (World Tourism Organization), seeking collaborative engagement for its promotion and implementation.

Why Tourism & Travel?1

Tourism is…

One of the World’s Top Job Creators.

  • Provides more than 75 million direct jobs worldwide2.
  • Offers fast entry into the workforce, particularly for youth and women in urban and rural communities.

A Lead Export Sector, particularly for Developing Countries.

  • 30% of the world’s exports of services (US$ 1 trillion a year)3.
  • Up to 45% of the total export of services in developing countries3.

A Key for Stimulus and the Transformation to a Green Economy.

  • Contributes directly and through its multiplier effect to global job creation and economic recovery.
  • Accounting for a comparatively low share, 5% of CO2 emissions4, Tourism is well-positioned and committed to progressively reducing its carbon emissions and contributing to the transformation towards a Green Economy.
  1. Focus on Job Retention and Sector Support
    Tourism is an economic activity that provides jobs for millions in the sector and in many interlocking industries. Well-trained staff has the skills to move across the workforce. Globally, Tourism grows faster than GDP, doubling the jobs created every 10 to 15 years. During the recession it is important for governments and industry to undertake actions to retain the core workforce and maintain training standards. Relevant strategies should recognize the special needs of SME´s, particularly in less developed countries.
  2. Understand the Market and Respond Rapidly
    Close monitoring and analysis of changing trends and early reaction will help the sector to maintain its competitiveness. It will require increased collaboration, research and information exchange between public and private sectors, international organizations and educational institutions as well as the development of new tools and data analysis. Building networks for tourism knowledge at national, regional and international level should be encouraged. The UN Tourism and other organizations should enhance network links and support systems.
  3. Boost Partnerships and 'Coopetition'
    Public and private sector partnerships should be strengthened wherever possible to help preserve and create jobs, streamline procedures, simplify regulations and increase productivity. This can extend beyond traditional Tourism frameworks into economic, employment and development areas and maximize synergies between national, regional and international stakeholders. In the transformation to a Green Economy and the reduction of barriers to growth, competitors will often have common goals.
  4. Advance Innovation and Technology
    Innovation can play a leading role in assisting Tourism to adapt to new sustained economic conditions. Areas which could be considered for review and action include border systems, e-visas, air and ground traffic handling, congestion management as well as waste reduction and energy efficiency technologies. Adopting innovative practices and increasing the uptake of technology by all stakeholders should be encouraged. Particular consideration could be given to providing financial support and capacity building for developing countries and SMEs, so that they can benefit from affordable advances in technology and leapfrog development.
  5. Strengthen Regional and Interregional Support
    There is a special value to geographic linkage. In downturns demand tends to shift closer to home so domestic incentives, which are then regionalised, allow the spread of costs. The same applies to promotion inside and outside the region. The feasibility of regional approaches to visa elimination, transport liberalization, tax moderation and the reduction of air traffic congestion, are cases in point.
  1. Create New Jobs – particularly in SME's
    Providing credit lines (including micro credit), special finance plans, loans and skills training, either by sector specific mechanisms or by prioritising Tourism in general programs, is of crucial importance for the economic viability of tourism enterprises, particularly for SME's, and for the creation of new jobs. Consideration can be given to specific educational programs and vocational training for the tourism industry with a strong emphasis on ICT, green products/services and quality support activities.
  2. Mainstream Tourism in Stimulus and Infrastructure Programs
    Tourism should be of major consideration in stimulus programs – areas such as tax reduction, export promotion, job support or retraining can also benefit the industry. Tourism can gain greatly from investment in infrastructure because of its direct effect on jobs in construction and related sectors. High speed trains, port and airport facilities, stations and major highways fall into this category – as does the environmentally sustainable renovation and climate proofing of hotels, attractions and other tourism facilities.
  3. Review Tax and Visa Barriers to Growth
    Travel taxes should be scrutinized objectively for excessive burdens on travellers/companies. Governments may consider temporary reductions where permanent ones are difficult to achieve. Exemption from visa fees, elimination/simplification of visa requirements and electronic visas, could be considered wherever feasible. Consideration can also be given to the benefits of intraregional collaboration on travel facilitation.
  4. Improve Tourism Promotion and Capitalize on Major Events
    Diversified tourism strategies should avoid dependence on any one activity or market. Foreign visitors are high value exports and must be considered as part of national export promotion action. Marketing programs should address underlying demand shifts for better value/deals as well as competitive realities. Embracing the shift in consumer preferences towards internet and multimedia delivery is fundamental. Partnerships and regional cooperation should be explored to enhance tourism promotion. The benefits offered by the involvement in major events, especially sports, should be explored.
  5. Include Tourism in Aid for Trade and Development Support
    Tourism stakeholders should work with aid agencies to support the emerging Aid for Trade Provisions of the Doha Development Round, the specific developing country assistance for the least developed countries within the G20 and similar initiatives and the potential clean development/carbon adaptation funds from the UNFCCC4 climate negotiations. Development assistance for Tourism could be used for capacity building, technology transfer, and green infrastructure/jobs.
  1. Develop Green Jobs and Skills Training
    As the world shifts to a progressive carbon reduction regime - a fundamental target of the Green Economy - Tourism can be a lead change agent to encourage and provide employment in sustainable activities. The key will be to identify Green programs and new associated jobs, as well as to provide the appropriate training. Particular consideration should be given to how this goal can be extended to developing countries in an affordable and viable way. Vocational training, 'voluntourism' and alignment with overall tourism green training programs are also important.
  2. Respond Effectively to Climate Change
    The tourism community should continue to champion carbon neutrality and confront commitments agreed by parties to the UNFCCC to respond to climate change. This should include incentives for adaptation, substantial financial support and low cost technology transfer for the poorest economies. All strategies and the associated financing should help drive sectoral low carbon transport and accommodation, as well as the use of green technology.
  3. Profile Tourism in all Green Economy Strategies
    Tourism should be integrated into national, regional and international legislation/regulations that encompass and encourage Green Economy strategies. It should also be profiled high in Green employment strategies. Green investment, planning, procurement, fuel efficiency, renewable energy programs must also cover Tourism.
  4. Encourage Green Tourism Infrastructure Investment
    Transport and buildings are primary green policy and investment targets. Transport infrastructure- e.g. expressways, high speed trains, airports, ports and air traffic management systems- is mostly geared to tourism needs without explicit recognition. The linkages should be made explicit. Climate proofing and sustainable design is often targeted at government buildings but could and should apply equally to hotels, attractions and other tourism facilities.
  5. Promote a Green Tourism Culture in Suppliers, Consumers and Communities
    Given the massive impact of consumption in modern society, the ultimate challenge will be to increase public awareness on sustainable tourism and stimulate the transformation towards the production and consumption patterns of a Green Economy. Adjustments in public expectations and a widespread industry participation in credible environmental certification programs are both necessary. Tourism must not only be in the change leadership of products/services, but be a beacon for that change through its intensive communications activities. This can be built into internal and external messaging.

1.Tourism and Travel’ refers to a wide range of domestic and international tourism business and activities which incorporates transportation, accommodation and related services. Hereafter, the term ‘Tourism’ will be used.
2. Based on the limited information from countries with data available, UN Tourism estimates that tourism’s global contribution to employment is in the order of 6-7% of the worldwide number of jobs (direct and indirect). The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that, in 2009, ‘Tourism and Travel’ generated 77 million direct industry jobs (2.7% of total employment) and around 220 million direct and indirect jobs (7.6% of total employment).
3. UN Tourism (World Tourism Organization),
4. UN Tourism (World Tourism Organization), As compared to other sectors such as land use and forestry (24%) or manufacturing and construction (13%).