World Travel and Tourism Council
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|Industry||Travel & Tourism|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Michael Frenzel (Chairman)
David Scowsill (President & CEO)
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the global business leaders' forum for travel and tourism and is composed of Chairmen and Chief Executives of 100 of the world’s foremost organisations, representing all regions and sectors of the industry. Membership to WTTC recognises that the travel and tourism industry is the largest services industry, supporting 255 million jobs and generating 9 per cent of world GDP.1 Monitoring the growth of the industry allows WTTC to set specific strategic priorities to identify issues that most impede the operation or development of the sector.2 Currently the industry's issues can be divided into three: 'Freedom to Travel', 'Policies for Growth' and 'Tourism for Tomorrow'.
WTTC advocates partnership between the public and private sectors, delivering results that match the needs of economies, local and regional authorities and local communities with those of business, based on:
- Governments recognising Travel & Tourism as a top priority
- Business balancing economics with people, culture and environment
- A shared pursuit of long-term growth and prosperity
WTTC's success in generating a climate of understanding of the importance of Travel & Tourism is based on its:
- high quality and authoritative research into the facts about Travel & Tourism, and into the issues affecting the sector;
- ability to harness the unrivalled knowledge and experience of the Council Members, who number the most prominent executives in the industry;
- willingness to collaborate with other leading industry bodies in pursuit of mutual aims;
- visible, timely and newsworthy programme of communications - including its famous Summit meetings - to inform discussions between the Travel & Tourism industry, governments, and the community at large.
WTTC activities reconcile the Travel & Tourism industry's private and public sector affairs in order to bring forward sustainable change. In partnership with Oxford Economics, WTTC quantifies compares and forecasts the economic impact of Travel & Tourism on 181 economies around the world.1 The economic facts allow the World Travel & Tourism Council to be heard by governments, increase membership numbers and create awareness of how fast the industry is growing. A recent tangible effort made by WTTC together with the UNWTO is ‘The Open Letter’3 presented to Heads of State and Governments worldwide to ask them to accept the importance of Travel & Tourism and face the its challenges. The Open letter aims to raise the profile of Travel & Tourism politically and in this framework, UNWTO and WTTC have decided to join hands in their common goal of mainstreaming the industry on the global agenda in the form of a “Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign”.4 According to WTTC's timeline and history from when it was founded, 'The Open Letter' proves today how far the importance of the Travel & Tourism industry has come in minds of governments and elected officials.
The World Travel & Tourism Council started with a group of industry chairs and CEOs in the late 1980s who realised that the industry was one of the largest provider of jobs and wanted to make governments understand the important economic contribution it makes. At the time Travel & Tourism was considered by many as frivolous or at least, a 'non- essential activity'.5 Investment and support given by the founding group of hard economic data would get would get interest from governments and therefore start to sustain the industry for future generations to enjoy.
- 1989: Initial meeting in Paris between a number of industry leaders. Henry Kissinger presented a powerful message to the leaders at the meeting confirming that they were under represented as one of the world's biggest industries and were not recognised because they were too fragmented.
- 1990: Objectives were established and elected The first Chairman, James Robinson III who was Chairman and CEO of American Express and Geoffrey Lipman as President
- 1991: First AGM in Washington with 32 members. Key issues and challenges to the industry were revealed and objectives were determined.
- 1993: Robert H Burns became Chairman. Members became 68. Partnered with Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates. Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) gave WTTC the possibility of substantiating its message with concrete figures.
- 1997: Membership had reached its target of 100 which coincided with the Council’s forecast that more than 100 million jobs would be created over the following decade.
- 1999: WTTC Latin America Programme was the first initiative which concentrated on a specific region
- 2001: WTTC ran an advertising campaign, ‘Go out and meet your neighbours' funded by its members and Jean Claude Baumgarten, President and CEO. The campaign appeared in the global print media including Time and Newsweek and WTTC ran economic research to adjust for what was a seismic event for the industry.
- 2003: 1st Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Vilamoura, Portugal, which focused on the theme of employment. The result was the Vilamoura Declaration, calling all governments to factor Travel & Tourism into their employment policies.
- 2003: Blue Print for New Tourism Report.
- 2005: Crisis Impact Forecasting Model which is able to assess the potential impact of a crisis on the industry in a timely fashion.
- 2009:‘Leading the Challenge on Climate Change’ Report which represents the first phase in WTTC’s environment initiative. The report lists ten key action items for the industry.
- 2010: David Scowsill appointed President and CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council.
- 2011: 9/11 Anniversary- WTTC urges Governments to promote 'Freedom to Travel'
- 2012: The Travel Association Coalition was founded.
- 2012: Mexico holds WTTC inaugural Regional Summit. President Felipe Calderón and Carlos Slim speak and address travel industry leaders from the public and private sectors.
- 2012:G20 recognises Travel & Tourism as a driver of economic growth for the first time and commit to work on travel facilitation.
The Travel Association Coalition was founded in January 2012 and consists of 9 members: Airports Council International (ACI), American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), World Travel Organisation (UNWTO), United States Travel Association (USTA), World Economic Forum(WEF), and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). The global members follow broad criteria and represent both public and private spheres of the Travel & Tourism sectors.
The association was founded on the basis that its members collate and coordinate their individual work and research to avoid duplication and therefore work towards a more holistic industry. The Travel Association Coalition aims to arm itself with the most up to date research, policy statements and activity schedule so as to speak with a stronger voice for the industry. The benefit of forming a global coalition means the industry can focus on one major, common and achievable objective at a time. The mission is to get governments (local, national, regional, supranational) to better understand Travel & Tourism’s role as a driver of economic growth and employment, in order for those governments to develop policies which contribute to the profitable, sustainable, long term growth of the industry.
When (WTTC) was established in 1990, when the founding Members decided that the quantification of Travel & Tourism's impact on world economies would be the most important contribution they could make to achieve their goal of raising awareness among the industry’s policy leaders and decision-makers. The subsequent investment in research made a significant contribution to the development of the new international standard for Tourism Satellite Accounting (TSA) research, adopted in 2001 by the United Nations Statistical Commission. Through this type of economic research WTTC has been able to supply significant evidence for the Travel & Tourism industry of the potential of creating wealth and employment around the world.
The main objective of WTTC economic impact research is to provide consistent, reliable, timely, and comparable data and forecasts on an annual basis to assess Travel & Tourism’s contribution to national economic activity This research is undertaken with WTTC’s research partner,UK-based Oxford Economics(OE). Research includes GDP and employment created by Travel & Tourism both directly and indirectly as well as their percentages of the total economy. Besides a global report, individual reports are published for 181 countries as well as 23 different regions or country groupings. WTTC Economic Impact Research is benchmarked against the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Tourism Satellite Accounts Recommended Methodological Framework 2008 (UNWTO TSA:RMF 2008).6
In 2012, the World Travel & Tourism Council released a report Benchmarking Travel & Tourism, which compares the industry to other major global industries in terms of GDP contribution and employment among other indicators. This report showed that in terms of global GDP, Travel & Tourism is larger than the automotive manufacturing, chemicals and mining industries worldwide. For employment, Travel & Tourism employs 6 times more people than automotive manufacturing, 5 times more than the global chemicals industry, 4 times more than the global mining industry, 2 times more than the global communications industry, and a third more than the global financial services industry.7
WTTC undertakes a range of other research projects which focus on a particular sector, geography or issue. For example, WTTC, in conjunction with UNWTO, released a report on ‘The Impact of Visa Facilitation on Job Creation in the G20 Economies' in 2012, which was prepared for the T20 Ministers' Meeting in Mexico, 15–16 May 2012. This report quantified the potential economic benefits visa facilitation could bring to G20 members. The research was presented to the President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón who used it to present to leaders of the G20 as concrete evidence of how simplifying and facilitating visa regimes would generate jobs and economic growth for those nations. The report put Travel & Tourism at the top of the agendas for world leaders and demonstrated to them the signicance in the huge economic and social contribution the industry has to their countries.
The Council also works with and consults its members to produce policy papers covering a wide variety of topical issues for the industry. These papers are produced with the aim of presenting the Council's collective stance and putting forward guidelines on how to best meet challenges or optimise opportunities.
- Hainan Travel & Tourism Development Potential (2009-2011)
- The Impact of Visa Facilitation on Job Creation in the G20 Economies (2011)
- Air Passenger Duty (2012)
- Tracking Disaster Recovery in Japan (2011)
- Business Travel Research (2011)
- The Impact of Travel & Tourism in Montenegro (2011)
- The Economic Impact of Travel & Tourism in Santa Catarina (2009)
- Travel & Tourism Economic Impact Update: Trinidad and Tobago (2005)(Followed up in 2009)
Each year, WTTC’s Global Summit is the most influential Travel & Tourism event of the year, bringing together almost 1000 industry leaders, to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing Travel & Tourism today. Attendance is by invitation from the World Travel & Tourism Council and the Global Summit Host Committee only, and is reserved for those who lead Travel & Tourism enterprises and organisations in the private sector, or participate in public sector policy and support of the sector. The Tokyo/Sendai Global Summit was described as ’… one of the most demanding yet most rewarding conventions I have ever attended – even more so as a host.’ by Atoshiba Nishida, Chairman of the Japan Summit’s Host Committee and CEO Toshiba. The annual event creates great value for the host destination and huge insight for industry, media and political leaders around the world.
Previous WTTC Summit themes are designed around current issues facing the Travel & Tourism industry for the time and provoke analysis for future key challenges and opportunities. The 2003 Global Summit,‘Building New Tourism’, identified that the impact of tragic events of 9/11 whereby international flight numbers had been significantly downsized and security tightened making it harder and more stressful to travel. The next WTTC Global Summit ‘Driving Change’ (2004) realised how Travel & Tourism is one of the most resilient industries for recouping itself and adapting to the challenges. Later on in 2009, the Global Financial Economic Crisis impacted by a significant drop in tourism flows and the financial ability for people to travel. The Summit in 2009 ‘Real Partnerships- Energising Economies’ discussed the decrease in demand for travel and how the industry could persuade governments that tourism was still a top priority.
The Tokyo/Sendai Summit in Japan showed how tourism is able to bring a global community together and show how resilient the industry is against crisis.The tragic events of 11 March 2011 where the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami hit the coast of Japan ruined livelihoods, towns and everything in its path yet in just over a year the country was able to hold a global summit and accommodate everyone who attended. David Scowsill, President and CEO, WTTC said in the closing Ceremony of the Japan Summit “I believe we have started to show the kind of leadership that is befitting of an industry that can generate growth, jobs, prosperity and sustainability at both global and regional level, like no other industry on this planet can”.8 The Global Summits have grown and matured into an annual event. The industry now lies on the question of how it will grow sustainably and benefit the social and economic needs and how it will adapt to the environment it operates in.The location for the 2013 Global Summit is Abu Dhabi in early April was chosen because of the enthusiasm shown by government and industry agencies and evidence of green tourism growth.9
- 2013- 13th Global Summit Abu Dhabi
"A time for leadership"
- 2012 -12th Global Summit Tokyo/Sendai
“Leading a Dynamic Industry through Turbulent Times”
- 2011 -11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit- Las Vegas
“Powering Global Growth of Travel & Tourism”
- 2010- 10th Global Travel & Tourism Summit- Beijing
“World’s Leading Industry- Reaching New Frontiers”
- 2009- 9th Global Travel & Tourism Summit- Florinaopolis
“Real Partnerships- Energising Economies”
- 2008- 8th Global Travel & Tourism Summit- Dubai
- 2007- 7th Global Travel & Tourism Summit- Lisbon
“Breaking Barriers - Managing Growth”
- 2006- 6th Global Travel & Tourism Summit- Washington
“Open Mind - Open World”
- 2005- 5th Global Travel & Tourism Summit- New Delhi
“Realising the Potential”
- 2004- 4th Global Travel & Tourism Summit- Doha, Qatar
- 2003- 3rd Global Travel & Tourism Summit- Vilamoura
“Building New Tourism”
- 2000- 2nd Summit- Vilamoura
(Aim and objective: How the public and private sectors can work together to ensure market expansion and development.)
- 1997- 1st Summit- Vilamoura
(Aim and objective: Action by both the public and private sectors to integrate Travel & Tourism into overall government policy to tackle unemployment worldwide.)
With similar aims and objectives as the Global Summit, a Regional Summit on a smaller scale condenses and magnifies issues affecting Travel & Tourism in the region. The inaugural World Travel & Tourism Council Americas Summit was held in Riviera Maya, Mexico, 16–18 May 2012 and hosted by the Mexico Ministry of Tourism and Mexico Tourist Board. The Summit attracted an audience of private and public sector tourism leaders from across the Americas, including: Central America, The Caribbean, South America and North America.
The theme of the Summit was “Travel & Tourism: Generating jobs now and in the future” as the industry plays a very important role in economies across the Americas "generating US$250 billion in exports, contributes 9% of GDP and supports 1 in 10 jobs".10 The significance of these figures formed lively debate between academic and media opinion formers, the region's Travel & Tourism industry leaders also of the G20 Ministers of Tourism.
WTTC Americas Summit was timed just in time before the G-20 Mexico summit in Los Cabos, 18–19 June 2012 propelling Mexico into the center of the world's political attention. The outcome of the timings of the Americas Summit and the G20 Leaders Summit put the travel & tourism industry at the top of the world political agenda and it was the first time the industry was mentioned in the G20 Leader's Declaration. The Leaders Declaration recognises:
“The role of travel and tourism as a vehicle for job creation, economic growth and development, and, while recognizing the sovereign right of States to control the entry of foreign nationals" and commits to "work towards developing travel facilitation initiatives in support of job creation, quality work, poverty reduction and global growth.”11
WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are one of the world's highest accolades in the Travel & Tourism industry and reward the most innovative and best policies in sustainable tourism worldwide.
In 1989, the Awards were founded by the Federation of Tour Operators to encourage action from all sectors of the industry to protect the environment. The Awards were subsequently taken over by British Airways in 1992, and were further developed to encompass all aspects of sustainable tourism, with the explicit aim of leading the industry in this field. WTTC took over the Awards in 2004 and combines the awards ceremony with the World Travel & Tourism Global summit to give the winners a stage to show off their achievements.
The Awards have four categories:
- Community Benefit Award: recognises tourism initiatives that has effectively demonstrated direct benefits to local people, including capacity building, the transfer of industry skills, and support for community development and enhancement and support for cultural heritage in the area..
- Conservation Award: Open to any tourism business, organisation or attraction, including lodges, hotels, or tour operators, able to demonstrate that their tourism development and operations have made a tangible contribution to the conservation of nature. This includes, but is not limited to, the protection of wildlife, expanding and restoring natural habitat, and supporting biodiversity conservation.
- Global Tourism Business Award: Open to any large company from any sector of Travel & Tourism - cruise lines, hotel groups, airlines, tour operators, etc. - with at least 500 full-time employees and operating at least 8 hotel business enterprises in one or more countries, this award recognises best practices in sustainable tourism at a large company level.
- Destination Stewardship Award: This award goes to a destination - country, region, state, or town - which comprises a network of tourism enterprises and organisations which show dedication to and success in maintaining a programme of sustainable tourism management at the destination level, incorporating social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits as well as multi-stakeholder engagement. Applicants may include governments, NGOs, businesses, or community organisations on behalf of the destination.
The awards are judged by 15-20 judges of the highest scholarly and professional backgrounds from within the industry. The judges over the years have together designed a three stage process to decide on the winners of the awards. The judging includes selecting the finalists, on-site evaluation visits and selecting the winners and designed to be integral and transparent so that the success of the awards is due to the every judge being involved in every aspect of the process.
Costas Christ, Chairman of the Judges, WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards believes, 'a measure of a company or tourism destination’s success, is now increasingly tied to their quality of sustainable tourism best practice.'12 The size of the company should not be an issue when implementing measures such as the standards of guest service from local people, the eco friendly facilities a hotel room has or how locally sourced the food is. Below are the winners from previous years which have excelled in best practice sustainable tourism and stood out from among the rest when they underwent the three stage judging process.
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- Leaders for Tourism], accessdate=8 November 2012
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-  [Travel & Tourism larger than automotive industry], accessdate 20 November 2012.
-  [Tokyo/Sendai Closing ceremony], accessdate 14 November 2012.
- [WTTC Global Summit 2013], accessdate 14 November 2012.
- WTTC The Americas Summit, Accessdate 22 November 2012.
- G20 recognizes travel & tourism industry, Accessdate 22 November 2012.
- [2012 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award winners unveiled], accessdate 19 November 2012.
- WTTC Homepage: 
- Membership List: 
- Regional Initiatives: 
- Global Travel & Tourism Summit website: 
- Tourism for Tomorrow Awards website: