Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) accompanied by Union Tourism Minister K.Chiranjeevi recently handed over an “Open Letter” to Vice President M.Hamid Ansari. The letter jointly signed by Rifai and David Scowsill, President and CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) urges world leaders to join hands with the leaders from the other countries as well as with UNWTO and WTTC to position travel and tourism higher on the global agenda.
The Open Letter says travel and tourism currently accounts directly and indirectly for about 3 percent to 5 per cent of global GDP, as well as 30 per cent of the world’s export of services. If the induced impacts of travel and tourism are factored into the calculations, its total contribution is greater still. According to the letter, “The total contribution of Travel &Tourism to employment-including jobs indirectly supported by the sector is estimated at 7 per cent to 8 per cent. This makes Travel & Tourism a vital contributor to the global development agenda, affording it a unique role in building strong, sustainable and balanced global growth”.
With a view to acknowledge the instrumental role of tourism in the global economy, the UNWTO and WTTC have jointly initiated a ‘Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign’. The basic objective of the campaign is to send a message to the world to accord high priority to the development of the tourism sector for promoting employment opportunities and economic development. The campaign was launched in 2011 and till date 47 countries have joined this campaign. The Open letter along with the testimonials of the Head of States and Governments who have joined the Campaign will be compiled in the Golden Book of Tourism Campaign.
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