for Driving Change in Travel & Tourism
|May 6, 2004 - The 4th World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global
Summit, hosted by Qatar Airways in Doha from 1-3 May, attracted more than
800 public and private sector decision-makers and journalists from over
40 countries around the world. This record number of participants
was a clear demonstration of industry solidarity and unity at an important
period in Travel & Tourism's history.
"Over the past couple of years, the series of crises that have affected Travel & Tourism has increased awareness, more than ever before, of the contribution of Travel & Tourism to the creation of wealth, jobs and prosperity at all levels of the economy," Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC President, told delegates gathered for the two-day meeting. "Travel & Tourism is uniquely placed to encourage close contact between peoples and cultures, thereby promoting greater international understanding, tolerance and respect of different cultures, religions and values."
"Last year's Summit, held in Vilamoura, Portugal, addressed the critical question of how to Build New Tourism in today's marketplace," said WTTC Chairman, Vincent A Wolfington. "The different crises of the past couple of years have been a catalyst for some fundamental changes in demand that have been slowly emerging since the mid- 1990s," he added, "changes that include a redefinition of personal behaviour and lifestyles.
"Together with socio-demographic shifts, these will be the main factors influencing demand for Travel & Tourism in the coming years. It is critical for the industry to take stock of all these changes and ensure that all stakeholders – whether governments, host communities, the private sector of the industry, or the media – work together to drive changes in supply that will ensure the sustainable and profitable growth of the sector going forward, bringing benefits to everyone."
Under the theme Driving Change, the 4th Global Summit featured an impressive list of well-known speakers from different sectors of the industry and government, and representing all regions of the world. But, while the speakers and panellists set the scene for each session, the unique format of this year's Summit ensured that all participants also contributed to the lively debates that followed.
The good news for the industry is that the current prospects for Travel & Tourism growth are better than they have been for a long time, thanks to the improved global economy – one of the main drivers of demand. But while the USA, together with China, is leading this economic growth, it is also, paradoxically, a source of anxiety. The US recovery has so far been a jobless one, with one million additional jobs lost since the recovery started. This is due to the fact that some 70 per cent of jobs lost are structural, and are simply not being replaced by jobs in new industries.
"But governments need to recognize the fact that this is where Travel & Tourism can help," said Baumgarten, "since it takes up unemployment at a much faster rate than other economic sectors."
Other areas – cited at the Summit – in which governments can and should act to facilitate the sustainable growth of Travel & Tourism and drive change included:
WTCC is a membership organisation representing the leaders of the global travel and tourism industry.
WTTC is a forum for global business leaders comprising presidents, chairs and CEOs of 100 of the world’s foremost companies. It is the only body representing the private sector in all parts of the Travel & Tourism industry worldwide.
WTTC’s mission is to raise awareness of the full economic impact of Travel & Tourism, the world’s largest generator of wealth and employment, which accounts for 200 million jobs and over 10 per cent of global GDP. Governments are encouraged to unlock the industry’s potential by adopting policy framework for sustainable tourism development.
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|Also See:||SARS Has Massive Impact on Travel & Tourism in Affected Destinations / World Travel & Tourism Council Report / May 2003|
|Qatar Tourism Masterplan Includes US$15 billion Investment in Resorts, Hotels, Sports Facilities / May 2004|