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G20 recognizes importance of travel and tourism

The G20 world leaders have for the first time, recognized the importance of travel and tourism as a driver of jobs, growth and economic recovery. The Leaders’ Declaration from the annual meeting of the G20 held in Los Cabos, Mexico, June 18-19, states “we recognize 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, we will work towards developing travel facilitation initiatives in support of job creation, quality work, poverty reduction and global growth.”This is the first time that travel and tourism has been included in the G20 Leaders’ Declaration and is the culmination of long-term efforts by the industry, led by WTTC and UNWTO, to encourage world leaders to see the potential of travel and tourism to create millions of new jobs and billions of dollars of GDP. According to WTTC, the industry directly will contribute $2 trillion in GDP and 100 million jobs to the global economy in 2012. When the wider economic impacts of the industry are taken into account, Travel & Tourism is forecast to contribute some $6.5 trillion to the global economy and generate 260 million jobs – or one in 12 of all jobs on the planet. Speaking after the publication of the G20 Leaders’ Declaration, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai and WTTC president and CEO David Scowsill said, “We commend the G20 world leaders for recognizing the importance of travel and tourism as a driver of economic growth and job creation for the first time and stand ready to support all efforts by the G20 countries in this respect. This is a significant success for the industry, facilitated by the relationship between our two organizations and widely supported throughout the industry. By facilitating visas, the G20 countries stand to gain five million jobs at a time of rampant unemployment across the world. These are in addition to the hundreds of millions of direct and indirect jobs already being supported every day by the sector.”

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