The UNWTO has welcomed the Declaration issued by
the Tourism Ministers of the G20 economies (T20) calling for
priority to be given to facilitating travel as a means to boost
economic growth and create jobs.
The Declaration states, “To ensure that tourism
can play a key role in creating employment opportunities, both
directly and indirectly through linkages to the local economy,
raising national income, improving the balance of payments and
boosting economic growth, priority should be given to facilitating
travel and tourism.”
Preliminary research prepared by UNWTO and the
World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that certain
improvements to visa processes could create an additional five
million jobs for the G20 economies by 2015 and generate an
additional US$ 206 billion in international tourism receipts.
In light of the role of visa facilitation in
supporting economic growth and job creation, and given the current
economic climate, the Declaration encourages the G20 to leverage
new technologies to make travel “more accessible, convenient and
more efficient without a diminution of national security.”
further proposes countries look into increasing cooperation on
bilateral, regional and international travel facilitation regimes.
“UNWTO applauds the commitment of the G20 Ministers of Tourism
to visa facilitation,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai,
on the occasion of the 4th Meeting of the T20. “This Declaration
is an extremely positive signal to the international community
that we are moving ahead on this issue of vital importance to the
tourism sector and the global economy.”
The Ministers of
Tourism and Heads of Delegations of the G20 countries met with the
President of Mexico and current G20 Chair, Felipe Calderón, as
well as with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Patricia
Espinosa last week. President Calderón
congratulated the T20 on its focus on visa facilitation and
assured Ministers he would take their message forward to the G20.
Russia, which holds the 2013 Presidency of the G20, will
host the 5th T20 Ministers’ Meeting.
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