Tourism and the G20 Economies

Tourism and the G20 Economies

G20 Tourism SDGs Dashboard
  • The G20 economies represent around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
  • In 2022, the G20 welcomed 74% of all international tourists accounting for 73% of tourism exports worldwide. In 2019, pre COVID-19 pandemic the Tourism Direct GDP reached 3.7% of the G20 economies.

The evident weight of tourism in the world economy prompted the creation of an initiative under the name of T20, counting with the full support of the UN Tourism.

Against the background of the enhanced international cooperation which emerged from the 2008-2009 global economic crisis, there was an opportunity for tourism ministers to speak in a coordinated manner on a number of global issues.

The initiative emerged as a follow up to the Roadmap for Recovery developed by UN Tourism. The Roadmap for Recovery, which was approved in October 2009 at the Organization’s General Assembly, is a manifesto on how tourism, one of the world’s biggest sources of jobs and export earnings, can be a primary vehicle for job creation, enhanced development, trade promotion, economic recovery and the transformation towards a greener economy.

The 1st T20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in South Africa (23-24 February 2010) followed an informal gathering of the T20 countries held in Kazakhstan in 2009 during the UN Tourism General Assembly, to discuss tourism’s valuable contribution to the economic stimuli required for the global economy’s recovery and the longer-term ‘green’ transformation.

Other meetings followed hosted by the countries chairing the G20. Topics discussed included:

With the aim of addressing priority issues for the sector to promote a more sustainable and balanced growth, the Ministers of Tourism approved the Terms of Reference for the creation for the first time of the G20 Tourism Working Group (TWG) under Saudi Arabia's Presidency (2020). The Group focus its tourism policy principles on fostering employment, qualifying the workforce, promoting sustainable and inclusive practices, and encouraging innovation in the sector. In 2020, against the backdrop of a global pandemic in which international tourism experienced an unprecedented 74% fall, the sustainable recovery of the sector became an urgent priority to address in the working groups.

The G20 Tourism Working Groups have developed their priorities along these lines under the different presidencies:

UN Tourism has been a knowledge partner of the various Presidency supporting the development of the objectives identified to advance the role of tourism in the G20 economies.


Ministers of Tourism of the G20 countries

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Republic of Korea
  • Republic of South Africa
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • European Union
  • Spain (Permanent invitee)

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