Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Governments need to capitalise on travel and tourism’s growth potential

Policies need to be implemented to increase tourism receipts and jobs.

This is according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in its 2014 annual economic impact data, released recently.

President and CEO of WTTC, David Scowsill, said it has been another really good year for the sector, but lack of openness from many governments is restraining their country’s Travel & Tourism potential.

“The data underlines Travel & Tourism’s undeniable status as a driver of growth. Some countries have taken huge positive strides with visa facilitation over the past few years. But many countries’ economic contribution from Travel & Tourism is still being held back, particularly due to restrictive visa policies.”

Scowsill also acknowledged that there is real momentum in some countries with visa facilitation, but there is still a lot to do.

“To capitalise on, rather than thwart, Travel & Tourism’s potential to boost visitors, spend and jobs, we would encourage countries to implement progressive approaches to visas, which make it easier for people to travel,” he stated.

The Head further stressed that Governments also need to ensure that they have intelligent rather than punitive taxation measures in place. He added that the WTTC data underlines that Travel & Tourism is a key engine for continued global growth, which governments cannot afford to ignore.

“The year 2013 has been a really good year with strong demand from long-haul markets. 2014 looks like it will be even sunnier, due to rising incomes and falling unemployment in many countries and stronger consumer spending.

“International travel will grow slightly faster than domestic travel, with the expanding middle class, particularly in emerging markets, playing a big part in that.” (TL)

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