Put tourism at centre of G20 economic revival plans, says UNWTO

Tourism and travel should be put at the centre of the G20 summit plans to revive the global economy, says the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

The UNWTO has sent an open message to 155 countries calling for them to consider encouraging travel as this will strengthen two way trade during the current downturn. This will promote essential export income for poorer countries and improve the performance of suppliers such as airlines who are largely from G20 states.

The call comes as representatives from 22 countries including US president Barack Obama meet in London for thr G20 Summit on April 2 to discuss how to solve the global economic situation.

UNWTO assistant secretary-general Geoffrey Lipman said the tourism and travel industry creates jobs, infrastructure, trade and development. 

He said: “We want to send the message out this time and try and galvinise the rest of the tourism sector.

“We think there is a missed opportunity at the time they are looking to stimulate the economy. This is a sector that is making things happen. It creates more jobs than any other single sector of the economy.”

Lipman first called for tourism to play a role in G20 plans at ITB Berlin in March, saying, “Tourism has always been a passive sector. We need to send a strong message to the G20.”

UNWTO has also stressed that the travel sector can take the lead in green infrastructure. Lipman added: “Tourism is a really important sector – we are not the real polluters.

“Our carbon emissions at some 5% of the total are manageable, with adaptation and new technology”.

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