Global Agenda Council on New Models of Travel & Tourism 2012-2014


The challenge

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 US$ 6 trillion – and creates 120 million direct and 125 million indirect jobs.

What the Council is doing about it

As the world becomes hyperconnected, circular and citizen centric, the right legislative framework, innovative financing and partnership models are crucial to facilitate travel, including smart visas, smart infrastructure (i.e. smart airports) and skills. The Council is committed to supporting the development of a strong travel and tourism sector and believes that travel facilitation is essential for growth and the creation of exports and jobs in the industry. The Council has divided travel facilitation into two parts:

  • Smart governments with technologies and new public-private partnerships for visa issuing and processing, and a framework for implementing regional smart visas
  • Smart airports that facilitate the flow of people through customs and border controls with new operational models using technology for risk-based people profiling and advanced border control systems 
The Council is developing a white paper on a vision of the smart traveller. It will provide a blueprint highlighting the importance of the travel and tourism sector for GDP, job creation and trade enhancements as well as provide new business and operational models and policy recommendations for the implementation of national and regional smart visas and airports (border check-in / immigration process).

The sector already accounts for 9% of global GDP – a total of US$ 6 trillion – and creates 120 million direct and 125 million indirect jobs.”

Council Members are spreading their message to global policy-making institutions and in the media. During its first term, the Council put together a “Call for Action on Facilitation of Travel” that was placed on the G20 meeting agenda in Mexico in 2012. 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, the Council will host a high-level meeting in Istanbul and sessions in Panama and Nigeria, 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: Tiffany Misrahi, Knowledge Manager, Global Agenda Councils, 
Council Manager and Forum Lead: Théa Chiesa, Director, Head, Travel and Tourism Industry, Mobility Team,