Safer, Smarter, Greener

WTM London is making it its mission to work with governments and the private sector around the world to create a safer, smarter and greener travel and tourism industry.

The event has collaborated with ministers, key organizations, leading businesses and top academics to produce a manifesto for the next decade.

The Travel & Tourism Manifesto was developed following the UNWTO, WTTC and WTM Ministers’ Summit on Nov. 9, 2020 at WTM Virtual, along with advice from key industry experts and the UN World Tourism Organization and World Travel & Tourism Council.

Claude Blanc, WTM Portfolio Director, observed that: “The devastation of the coronavirus pandemic means we must collaborate across borders, governments and private sectors to build a better world for the travel industry.”

Blanc said that: “COVID-19’s dramatic impact has demonstrated how travel and tourism are vital for economies, jobs and our wellbeing. The ambition of WTM London is to help create a flourishing visitor economy that has a positive impact on our planet, people and prosperity.”

And Blanc added that: “The outcome of our Ministers’ Summit is this fantastic manifesto – setting out ideas and actions for the next decade, to nurture a safer, smarter and greener travel and tourism sector.”

Contributors to the manifesto say that spending on travel and tourism around the world will plunge by 70% year-on-year during 2020, while jobs will fall by more than a third.

They expect a long and difficult road to recovery – and global coordination is essential to hasten the rebuilding process.

Travel restrictions are not likely to be lifted fully until December 2021, and travel and tourism spending won’t recover to pre-crisis levels until Q3 2023.

International business travel will be hit the hardest and is not expected to rebound fully until 2026.

By contrast, international leisure travel is forecast to surpass pre-coronavirus levels by 2024.

Along with support from UNWTO and WTTC, research partners who helped formulate the manifesto included Tourism Economics – an Oxford Economics company – and Space Global Strategy.

There was further input from leaders of trade associations such as ABTA, Advantage Travel Partnership, London and Partners, and UKInbound, as well as the bosses of prominent travel companies, such as Iberostar, Kuoni Travel UK and Sunvil Holidays.

Tourism ministers who participated in the Ministers’ Summit at WTM Virtual represented countries ranging from the UK to Greece, Philippines, Jordan, Costa Rica and more.

The summit also heard from private sector panellists representing the likes of Heathrow, TUI Group, Intrepid Travel and Radisson Hotel Group.

The manifesto details five key policy areas that are crucial to revive the travel and tourism sector, shorten the recovery period and ensure long-term, sustainable growth.

The areas are:

  • Globally aligned travel restrictions
  • Global health and safety protocols
  • Continued government support, such as job retention schemes, grants and exemptions from taxes
  • Smarter, seamless travel experience
  • A more sustainable, resilient and inclusive travel and tourism sector – including decarbonization and carbon removal initiatives; community engagement; and action against human trafficking and wildlife trafficking.

WTM London’s senior director, Simon Press, said: “The Ministers’ Summit 2020 was the first major opportunity for ministers and industry leaders to explore the best ways for our sector to recover, and to develop concrete solutions to the challenges we all face.”

Press noted that: “By bringing together 200 international leaders from our sector, we have created a manifesto to guide policy-makers as we emerge from this crisis. News about vaccines has already provided a boost to our sector so it is important that we have a roadmap to support our colleagues in their recovery next year and beyond.”

To review the WTM Travel & Tourism Manifesto, click here.