Global Agenda Council on the Future of Travel & Tourism 2014-2016


With job creation and economic growth at the top of the global agenda, the travel and tourism industry can play a critical role in creating employment opportunities worldwide while spurring economic growth. The sector already accounts for 9% of global GDP – a total of $6 trillion – and creates 120 million direct and 125 million indirect jobs.

As the world becomes hyperconnected, circular and citizen-centric, the right legislative framework, innovative financing and partnership models are crucial to facilitate travel. This includes smart visas, smart infrastructure (i.e. smart airports) and skills. The Global Agenda Council on the Future of Travel & Tourism is committed to supporting the development of a robust travel and tourism sector, and believes that travel facilitation is essential for growth as well as the creation of exports and jobs in the industry.

The council has published a paper entitled Smart Travel: Unlocking Economic Growth and Development through Travel Facilitation, which proposes a smart travel model and blueprint that could revolutionize the travel and tourism sector, much the way smartphones have transformed the telecommunications and media industries.

During its first term, the council put together a “Call for Action on Facilitation of Travel”, which was placed on the 2012 G20 meeting agenda in Mexico. On 25 April 2013, during the Forum’s Travel & Tourism Summit in Peru, three Latin American countries – Peru, Ecuador and Colombia – signed a letter of intent to implement a new smart visa system. A similar letter of intent was signed on 5 June 2013 by Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia during the Travel & Tourism High-level Meeting in Myanmar.

In 2014, a call to Action on Travel Facilitation and Talent Mobility was signed by Donald Kaberuka and Kathleen Matthews in their capacity as chairs of the Global Agenda Councils on Africa and New Models of Travel and Tourism respectively. The Call to Action signed at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja – endorsed by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Prime Minister Moussa Marra of Mali – was a promise by the represented African governments to try to facilitate free movement of people, specifically through the issuance of visas.

In the upcoming term, the council will aim to ensure a continued dialogue between the public and private sectors on the right smart visa policies for different regional blocs.

To get involved please contact

Research Analyst: Muireann Mageras, Senior Associate, Global Agenda Councils,
Council Manager:
Tiffany Misrahi, Community Manager, Aviation & Travel Industries,
Forum Lead:
Thea Chiesa, Director, Head of Aviation & Travel Industries,