WTTC 2015: Global Travel Association Coalition sets ‘agenda for growth’

Leading global travel organisations in the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC) launched a manifesto for growth yesterday.

Leaders of three of the eight GTAC members, the World Travel and Tourism Council, UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and International Air Transport Association (Iata), unveiled their joint commitments at the WTTC Summit in Madrid.

The manifesto, ‘Powering Travel and Tourism into the Next Decade: An Agenda for Growth and Development’, sets out four policy areas for governments and industry to address and lists three calls to action on each.

The demands relate to travel facilitation, infrastructure development, environmental sustainability and “investment in human capital”.

WTTC president and chief executive David Scowsill said: “The idea is to speak with one voice to governments. We know we are much more powerful if we combine resources and data and provide clear messages.

UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai (pictured) described it as “an agenda to align our advocacy and action”.

He said: “We repeat the same numbers in all our speeches. We agree these figures – this is crucial. We have dropped all barriers to working together.”

Iata director general and chief executive Tony Tyler added: “If we speak with one voice we can be a lot stronger than on our own. Where we have common issues, we can all say the same numbers.”

Outlining the first of the policy areas, Rifai said: “Making travel easier and more friendly is crucial to growth and to job creation. ”

He quoted US President Obama saying “The more folks visit America, the more jobs it creates”, and said: “That is exactly what we are trying to create.”

Rifai said: “Countries have a duty to protect their borders. But do we have to make it a nightmare? Security and friendliness are not at odds.”

Addressing infrastructure development, Tyler said: “Growth in the sector requires significant investment in infrastructure. The problem of aviation infrastructure is especially acute in Europe.”

On sustainability, Tyler said: “We recognise tourism growth needs to be decoupled from growth of resource use.

We are calling for strong public-private partnerships to make evidence-based decisions and smart legislation to mitigate adverse impacts.

“If travel and tourism is to obtain a licence to grow from governments ,it is essential we address sustainability.”

On ‘human capital, Rifai said: “Investing in people is of prime importance. We are a labour intensive sector. But every job in tourism creates on average four jobs downline.”

He added: “We need to ensure jobs in tourism are decent jobs, and by decent jobs we mean by the definition of the ILO [International Labour Organisation] – jobs that parents would be proud to have their children occupy.”

The Global Travel Association Coalition also comprises Airports Council International (ACI), cruise line association Clia, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), and the World Economic Forum (WEF).

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