Global Agenda Council on New Models of Travel & Tourism 2012-2013
At a time when job creation and economic growth are at the top of the global agenda, the travel and tourism industry can play a critical role in creating employment opportunities worldwide while raising nations’ incomes, balance of payments and economic growth rates. It is an important driver of growth and prosperity, and can play a key role in poverty reduction, particularly in developing nations.
At US$ 6.3 trillion in 2011, or 9.3% of total global GDP, the impact of the travel and tourism sector is larger than that of some of the largest manufacturing sectors, such as automotives, chemicals and manufacturing. Currently, the industry directly employs 98 million people, amounting to 9% of global employment. For every 36 new tourists in a given destination, one new job is created.
A number of current trends have the potential to transform the sector. Travellers today have come to expect speed, transparency and efficiency, creating the need for new technologies to meet their growing demands. Cloud solutions are transforming how and where data can be processed to optimize travellers’ experiences. This will have implications for pricing, customer profiling, and privacy and security protection.
As the number of travellers continues to grow as a result of both population growth and ageing, it is critical to develop adequate infrastructure and modes of transportation, while paying due attention to environmental concerns. Research reveals that by enacting visa facilitation processes, G20 countries have the potential to attract between 20 million and 112 million additional international tourists by 2015.
Yet, the travel and tourism industry faces a number of challenges, including the shift to green and sustainable travel, regulation as well as issues pertaining to multilateral and bilateral arrangements.
- Aviation is projected to grow 5% annually until 2030, implying a rise in passenger numbers to 5.9 billion.
- The goods value transported by air is estimated at US$ 5.3 trillion, or 35% of the value of all goods traded internationally.
- Tourism has grown from 25 million international arrivals in the 1950s to 1 billion in 2012.
“We are not the ones building the roads. We are not the ones to police border restrictions. It has to be a whole football team approach, including private-sector cooperation.”
Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia
“The benefits tourism brings to economic growth and development are well understood, but levels of understanding differ about how to optimize these benefits. Building a vibrant, competitive and sustainable tourism industry requires private and public organizations to work together and to pursue a collective agenda.”
Elizabeth Buse, Group President, Asia-Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, Visa, Singapore
“The capacity of tourism to drive growth and create jobs needs to be accompanied by strong supportive public policies.”
Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, United Nations World Tourism Organization
America's 'Smart Visa' Opportunity
Travel, Trade and Tourism Summit Report
Freedom to Travel: Jobs and Economic Growth through Visa Facilitation and Introduction of e-Visas
The Impact of Visa Facilitation on Job Creation in the G20 Economies
World Travel Market
5-8 November 2012
London, United Kingdom
13-15 November 2012
6-10 March 2013
IATA Annual General Meeting & Air Transport Summit
2-4 June 2013
Cape Town, South Africa
During the 2011-12 term, the Council worked on developing a proposal to facilitate national visa acquisition procedures and the introduction of an e-visa system. A fully implemented e-visa system would allow, for instance, a Kenyan touring France on a Schengen visa to add Ireland to the itinerary mid-visit simply by using a smartphone to apply for and receive the necessary visa as soon as the plane ticket to Dublin is purchased. It is this level of convenience that will be expected by present and future travellers.
The Council developed a “Call to Action” that proposes countries explore the development of an e-visa framework to maximize the growth potential of the international travel market. It pointed out that while some states currently utilize e-visa systems and others employ admirable open-border policies, both are done on too limited a basis. The result is that travellers from the largest growing markets, such as Brazil, India and China, are ignored.
By enacting visa facilitation opportunities, G20 countries have the potential to gain between 20 and 112 million additional international tourists by 2015. These tourists would in turn generate between US$ 38-206 billion additional tourism receipts by 2015.
This term, the Council will take its work on travel facilitation forward and focus on:
- creating a blueprint for travel facilitation and e-visa. It will study what needs to be done to implement and facilitate travel procedures and to make a transition to e-visa.
- developing an index to forecast the economic impact of the travel and tourism industry at the country level, with special emphasis on the impact on job creation.
- ensuring that the Council’s issues stay at the forefront of the global agenda, via two one-day meetings organized in Peru on 25 April 2013 and in Myanmar on 5 June 2013.
Research Analyst: Tiffany Misrahi, Senior Associate, Global Agenda Councils, firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Manager: Johanna Lanitis, Project Manager, Mobility Team, Johanna.email@example.com
Forum Lead: Théa Chiesa, Director, Head of Travel and Tourism Industry, Mobility Team, firstname.lastname@example.org