Cape Town - The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on Wednesday issued its support for the outcomes of the meeting of G20 tourism in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This includes recognition that the use of technology, such as biometrics, for travel facilitation and security was vital to sustain the growing numbers of travellers. It could result in the number of jobs created by tourism increasing by more than 7 million over the next ten years.
The "T20" meeting of tourism ministers of the G20 countries was hosted by Argentina in Buenos Aires around the theme of "Future of Work – sustainable tourism as a driver of employment".
Speaking at the meeting, Gloria Guevara Manzo, president and CEO of WTTC said: “Given its impressive growth forecasts and high levels of job generation, travel and tourism is a sector which will play an increasing role in inclusive and sustainable development. As the private sector, we want to maximise job creation and are working hard to ensure we have the right engagement, training and career development programmes in place."
However, WTTC is concerned that the combination of infrastructure capacity constraints and more stringent security requirements for travellers will result in huge inefficiencies across the system and impact tourism growth and job creation in the future.
Research shows that current and future capacity constraints could mean that between 8% and 21% of forecast growth in air travel cannot be supported. According to WTTC data, if this situation is addressed between 7 and 19 million jobs can be created.
Guevara said WTTC is delighted that G20 governments, by means of their delegations at the T20 meeting, have recognised the opportunity of technology to address such constraints, and consider the utilisation of biometrics as a starting point.
"Biometrics has already been identified by the UN as a recommended means of improving security by identifying terrorists and the technologies currently in use have already been seen to increase efficiencies and improve the customer experience. It is by making travel easier that we will meet the future demand for travel and ultimately increase the number of jobs created by the sector,” she said.
Across G20 countries travel and tourism contributes $6.3trn to GDP (9.1% of GDP) and generates 208 million jobs, 1 in 11 of all jobs. The G20 countries form some of the largest inbound and outbound tourism economies, and altogether account for 76% of the world’s travel and tourism GDP.
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