In this week’s issue of Canadian Travel Press, western editor Ted Davis reports that ensuring that tourism continues to develop as “a force for good” was an overarching theme at the recent World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Summit, held on the island of Hainan in southern China.
The annual event featured an impressive roster of presenters who brought with them a range of views on the subject, which fulfilled the Summit’s theme: “Changing World, New Perspectives,” and generally gave attendees the sense that their industry can really make a difference.
Situated at the heart of this mission is the assumption that many of the world’s ills can be traced to a lack of education and employment opportunities.
“We have the responsibility of providing millions of quality jobs to people who are seeking fulfilment and quality of life through employment,” said David Scowsill, president of the WTTC, addressing the many industry leaders attending the conference.
With China’s remarkable economic growth staying on an upward track, that country has the potential to be amongst the biggest contributors to this tourism-driven force for good.
For instance, by 2030, there are likely to be a billion middle class consumers in China alone, many of whom will be determined to travel, both domestically and abroad. They will all need a place to sleep at night, and China’s exploding hotel sector will be a major source of employment, said some speakers.
“We will change the lives of the people who work in our properties in China,” said Arne Sorenson, the president of Marriott International.
“Travel and tourism is already one of the largest industries on the planet,” said Scowsill, Confirmation of that is the fact that a billion people crossed international boundaries last year, and that the total will reach 1.8 billion in 15 years, he said.
For the full story in this week’s issue of Canadian Travel Press, click here.