Tourism and the G20 Summit – A Message from UNWTO

LONDON – APRIL 2, 2009

As world leaders’ grapple with today’s unprecedented global economic conditions we want to stress the potential for tourism and travel to support short term stimulus actions as well as longer term transformation to a green economy, coherent with development and climate imperatives.

Placing Tourism and Travel in Global Stimulus Packages and the Green Economy
(March 31, 2009)

Roadmap for Recovery
A message from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

UNWTO Video Message
Geoffrey Lipman, Assistant Secretary-General & Spokesperson


Several G20 states have already included travel in their own stimulus programmes. Encouraging domestic travel is good for consumer confidence; international travel has the added value of strengthening trade flows. Action to boost trade promotion, simplify regulation, build infrastructure and rationalise taxes, in turn incites companies to invest, innovate and stimulate demand. This kind of public – private sector collaboration should be strongly advanced within and between all states – it will help build resilience and buoyancy across economies.

Tourism is a primary vehicle for job creation and economic regeneration

Tourism currently drives an estimated 6% of jobs in G20 economies with a strong multiplier effect on related services, manufacturing and agriculture, which depend on travel demand. It is one of the largest employment sectors in most countries and a fast entry vehicle into the workforce for young people and women in urban and rural communities.

Tourism and travel represents some 5% of GDP of G20 countries and 27% of their services exports. It is even more significant for the world’s poorest countries where it is a mainstay of their economies, a key factor in employment and trade, as well as a vital lifeline for their development.

Tourism and Travel can be a leader in the shift towards a Green Economy

Accounting for some 5% of carbon emissions, the sector is committed to respond to climate change by adaptation, mitigation and new technology. Better conservation, reduced congestion, renewable energy, clean biofuels, climate proofing of buildings, as well as green consumer awareness and staff training are clear opportunities for hospitality and transport companies to move to a more sustainable economy.

Encouraging travel will strengthen two way trade – promoting essential export income for the poorest countries and improving performance of global suppliers who are largely from G20 member states. It will support consumer and business confidence, create jobs and put a green economy into action.


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