World Travel and Tourism Council
|Industry||Travel & Tourism|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Michael Frenzel (Chairman)
David Scowsill (President & CEO)
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is a forum for the travel and tourism industry. The WTTC is composed of chairmen and chief executives of international travel and tourism companies, representing different regions and sectors of the industry. Main activities of the WTTC include research on the economic and social impact of the industry and organisation of global and regional summits focused on issues and developments relevant to the industry.
The World Travel & Tourism was established in 1990 by a group of industry leaders. The first Annual General Meeting took place in Washington, DC, in 1991, at which time the Council was composed of 32 members. These initial members agreed on the need for a common effort to promote awareness of the economic contribution made by the travel and tourism industry. The founding members provided investment and support to produce economic data that could demonstrate the importance of the industry. They shared an interest in ensuring greater interest from governments and policy-makers in order to facilitate the future success of travel and tourism.
In 1997, the WTTC organised the first Global Travel & Tourism Summit, which took place in Vilamoura, Portugal. Two more Summits were held in Vilamoura in 2000 and 2003, following which they started being held annually in changing locations.
The WTTC is headquartered in an office located in London, UK. The staff are led by the President and CEO of WTTC. Seven directors head the different sections of the organisation. WTTC Presidents:
- 1990 - 2001: Geoffrey Lipman
- 2001 - 2010: Jean-Claude Baumgarten
- 2010 - present: David Scowsill
The WTTC members are the chief executives, presidents, or chairs of companies from different sectors and regions within the travel and tourism industry. The member companies pay an annual subscription , which contributes towards the Council’s income.
There are two membership types: Global Members and Regional Members. There is also a category for companies that provide services to the industry called Industry Partnership.
Research on the economic and social impact of the travel and tourism industry is one of the main activities of the WTTC. The Council carries out its economic research with research partner Oxford Economics.
Economic impact research
The foundation of the WTTC’s research activity is a set of annually produced Travel & Tourism Economic Impact Reports. These include a global report as well as 24 regional and 184 country reports. The reports calculate the economic impact of the industry including the direct and total GDP impacts, direct and indirect employment, investment, and exports. Using models based on Tourism Satellite Accounting, the Council reports one year and ten year forecasts for these impacts.
WTTC Economic Impact Research is benchmarked against the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Tourism Satellite Accounts Recommended Methodological Framework 2008 (UNWTO TSA:RMF 2008).
From 2012, the WTTC also started conducting benchmarking research that compares travel and tourism to other economic sectors. For example, the results from the 2013 benchmarking show that travel and tourism contributes more to GDP than automotive manufacturing in every region of the world and with 102 million people directly employed in 2013, the industry directly employs five times more people than both the automotive and chemicals manufacturing industries.
Policy and other research
Besides the economic impact and benchmarking reports, the WTTC also conducts various other research projects. These include studies on specific policy issues as well as more in-depth reports on countries or regions. Recent report have focused on issues related to the three priority areas of ‘Freedom to Travel’ (including visa facilitation), ‘Policies for Growth’ (focused on taxation in the industry), and ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’ (sustainability of the industry).
The WTTC organises a Global Summit each year, which is usually held in April. The summit is described as the world’s highest profile meeting for the travel and tourism industry, with up to 1,000 individuals attending each year. Decision-makers from international tourism companies and leaders from around the world meet to engage in dialogue on the key issues the industry is facing.
Attendance to the summit is by invitation from WTTC or the respective host committee only, and is reserved to leaders in the travel and tourism industry or public sector actors who are involved with policy-making for the sector.
At the 2013 Global Summit in Abu Dhabi, former US President Bill Clinton spoke and told the audience that the travel industry has the potential and responsibility to spread peace and change the world. Other speakers in Abu Dhabi included more than 40 leading public figures, including Sir David Frost, British journalist and media personality; Daryl Hannah, American actress and activist; Sir Jonathon Porritt, environmentalist; David de Rothschild, adventurer and environmentalist; David Scowsill, WTTC president; and James Hogan, chief executive, Etihad Airways.
At the Asia Summit in South Korea later that year, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair presented a similar message, warning western governments not to disregard the wealth-generating benefits of the tourism industry.
Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
In 2004, the WTTC took over the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. These Awards were initially founded by the Federation of Tour Operators in 1989 and taken over by British Airways in 1992. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are awarded in several categories to encourage and acknowledge developments in sustainable tourism. Winners are selected through several rounds of judging, which include on-site visits to the finalists. This judging process includes an independent chair of the judges, a three-step judging process involving up to 22 independent expert judges from around the world, and on-site evaluations of the finalists.
The Award categories have changed over time. Two new categories were added for the 2014 Awards to reflect the broadening scope of WTTC’s sustainability agenda and recognise the areas of human resources and innovation. The current six categories are:
- WTTC, http://wttc.org/our-members/council-members/
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- WTTC Homepage: