Purpose Beyond Profit via Geoffrey Breeze – Executive Director, World Travel & Tourism Council
While many might consider the Travel & Tourism industry as somewhat trivial and not necessarily providing anything more than simple enjoyment in people’s lives, this mindset significantly misses the mark. In fact this sector of the economy is one of the most significant in the world “supporting 292 million jobs and generating 10.2% of global GDP.”
The positive impact of this industry goes far beyond economic benefits though, with those working in tourism helping to share cultures and build mutual understanding, ultimately leading to a more peaceful world. The UN declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, with conditions of how to best achieve this sustainability being set out by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). As the WTTC states, it is vitally important for governments to support tourism in very specific ways to facilitate its sustainable growth.
Geoffrey Breeze @WTTC purpose beyond profit #RDO8 pic.twitter.com/fjHEbBVeJf
— RDO Official (@rdoofficial) 11 September 2017
At the recent RDO8 event at the Don Carlos Leisure Resort & Spa, Geoffrey Breeze, Executive Director of the WTTC spoke extensively to attendees about how vital the industry is to the global economy and world peace. Travel & Tourism provides and creates employment in turn leading to a more stable socio-economic situation. This is further enhanced by the sharing of cultures and building of greater understanding of different people across national boundaries. This leads to a more peaceful and prosperous situation for all.
@WTTC 's Geoffrey Breeze talking at #RDO8 – and about the economic impact of travel and tourism e.g 1/10 jobs on the planet are in travel. pic.twitter.com/dbBYyH4nQF
— Jackie Murphy (@jackieannmurphy) 11 September 2017
For many decades, improved travel technology and rising disposable incomes across different countries such as China has lead to huge increases in the numbers of people choosing to travel for leisure purposes. In turn this has resulted in growing numbers of people employed in this sector. This has also been facilitated by greater freedom of movement, allowing an enhanced ability to travel. In other words, the world has become more open and in a sense smaller.
As Geoffrey pointed out during his presentation, this easy access to cheap, safe and open global leisure travel and tourism has certainly not always been the case. More importantly, in the last couple of years, with recent socio-political challenges and issues related to significant changes such as Brexit and US government policy, as well as other troubling factors like North Korea, the situation could vastly shift.
Through the WTTC, different sectors of the Travel & Tourism industry, including business leaders like those who attended RDO8, can and definitely should have an open dialogue with government and other international bodies about continuing to facilitate the global growth in the industry. Due to the vital importance of this sector for the economy, business and government leaders need to work together to allow more people to enjoy the many benefits of leisure travel. As mentioned earlier this isn’t just about trivial pleasure, but providing jobs, creating mutual understanding and sustaining world peace.
It needs to be stressed to government leaders just how important this industry has become to global stability. If certain countries start to enact changes aimed at closing their borders and making things more difficult for tourists to visit, this is likely to have a knock on negative effect. It would be likely to hurt jobs, lead to mutual restrictions from other countries, cause problems for the global economy and in turn reduce global stability.
This can all be avoided if governments and businesses work together, using new technologies to help keep their citizens safe from the tiny minority intent on causing harm, while keeping borders open to the vast majority who travel to discover and enjoy new cultures and places. In turn with more money entering poorer countries with the tourists travelling there and the increases in employment, those countries will become more stable and safer thus leading to reduced dangers from socio-economic unrest or terrorism.
As Geoffrey pointed out, in line with being the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism, the industry should look to more than just profit and focus on how to substantially increase global sustainability and also stability. It is important that profits do not all just go to a select few at the top of the industry, leaving most employees struggling to survive, as this is not sustainable. Instead the benefits of this growing industry need to be spread more fairly to continue to enhance the benefits of this economic sector. If not, the global issue of inequality will continue to increase, leading to greater social instability.
As with many things, when implemented correctly and fairly, a growth in sustainable Travel & Tourism can and will have massive long term benefits for world peace and prosperity, especially with the cooperation of business and government leaders.
Here at RDO we would like to once again thank Geoffrey for his highly informative presentation at RDO8.
To find out more about the World Travel & Tourism Council, head over to their website: https://www.wttc.org/
You can also connect with the the WTTC via social media:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wttc
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WTTC
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wttc
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBBRBNEdEuMkpcjgdl1Z77w
If you would like to discuss anything with RDO regarding this blog post or other relevant topics, then simply add the hashtag #RDO8 or #RDOdigital to your tweet. Alternatively search #RDO8 or #RDOdigital on Twitter to see what else we’ve been discussing and you can easily get involved in the conversation.
The RDO8 conference 2017 was sponsored by CLC World Resorts & Hotels, Diamond Resorts International, Interval International and RCI at the Platinum level, and Dial An Exchange, Light Enterprises and Shawbrook Bank at the Gold level. We thank them for their support.