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Investment in tourism industry for sustainable economic growth

On World Tourism Day 2023, speakers from across the tourism industry called for increased investment in education to support a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tourism that invests more in the education of stakeholders, front-line staff and consumers can help deliver a better model post-lockdown,” said a report released by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Speakers at the event, including WTTC CEO Julia Simpson, Special Advisor to the UNWTO Anita Mendiratta, and Saudi Arabia’s vice-minister of tourism Haifa Al Saud, all emphasized the importance of education in driving sustainable tourism.

WTTC CEO Julia Simpson pointed out the importance of tourism to the global economy – of 10 jobs on the planet, one comes from travel and tourism, global tourism will be worth US$9.5 trillion by the end of 2023 and tourism lifts people out of poverty and contributes to less of the world’s carbon emissions than people expect at only eight percent. Now, as global travel recovers, there is an urgency to invest in the industry’s sustainable future, said Special Advisor to the UNWTO Anita Mendiratta, adding that tourism has the power to connect people and help them learn about themselves and others.

“We need to respond with the same energy on climate change as we did on Covid,” she said. Saudi Arabia’s vice-minister of tourism Haifa Al Saud said attendees had “a collective responsibility” to commit to tourism that supports “planet, peace and prosperity”. Speakers hailed education as a way to inform the public and private sectors on how to deliver sustainable development, to equip staff in travel and hospitality with key skills and to persuade consumers to travel more responsibly.

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