24 April 2014 at 15.57 GMT
Travel industry leaders have a major job to do in convincing governments to avoid “destructive policies” despite the sector’s undoubted contribution to economic growth.
That was the message of World Travel and Tourism Council chief executive and president David Scowsill to the WTTC Global Summit in Hainan yesterday.
Scowsill told summit delegates: “The financial contribution travel and tourism makes to the world economy is unarguable. But still the challenge is to educate governments.
“Travel and tourism is forecast to grow 4% a year for the next 10 years, far higher than global GDP, creating 75 million jobs.”
Scowsill said: “Governments need travel and tourism.” Yet he complained that the industry faced “destructive border policies and taxation and poor infrastructure planning”.
He said: “We need to reaffirm travel and tourism’s contribution to the world economy and urge governments and private sector companies that the benefits can be spread.
Scowsill asked delegates: “How can the message that our industry is a force for good be disseminated effectively?”
Marriott International president and chief executive Arne Sorenson told the Summit: “It’s essential we continue to work [as an industry] on the issue of freedom to travel around the world.”
Travelport president and chief executive Gordon Wilson highlighted joblessness among young people. He said: “My biggest concern is youth unemployment.
“In Spain the unemployment rate among 15-24-year-olds last November was about 58%. There is a structural issue here. If it continues, growth in our industry will be suppressed.
“We can encourage governments to give better sector-skills training in schools. If we don’t, long-term youth unemployment will impact on all of us.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly