Tourism is the engine for the inclusive growth of an economy
World Tourism Day was celebrated with a call to make the battered industry the muscle of a global and inclusive economic reactivation.
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This week began with the commemoration, even amid the pandemic, of World Tourism Day, a date that under normal conditions, would be widely celebrated in thousands of tourist venues around the world complete with millions of travelers.
Despite the improving conditions of health systems and more and better tools to combat COVID-19 — including vaccination campaigns — sectors of the world economy remain in various states of recuperation after differing levels of damage. This is the case for the tourism industry, one of the first to enter a state of "confinement" and one of the last to free itself from the devastating effects of the health emergency.
“This date is of great importance, after the sector has experienced a devastating effect during the pandemic. During 2020, the travel and tourism sector contributed 5.5% to world GDP, a decrease of 4.9% compared to 2019. In addition, the loss of more than 62 million jobs in the sector was recorded,” highlighted the latest Economic Impact Report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
This year's theme to commemorate the special date is "Tourism for inclusive growth," which seeks to highlight the positive impacts of travel experiences that are promoted by small businesses and rural communities in markets that seek inclusion of women and the LGBTQ+ community, among other minority groups.
In addition to seeking the reactivation of the travel and tourism sector at a global level, with safe and innovative experiences, the industry also moves to be in tune with the issues of social justice and inclusion that have unleashed massive mobilizations in the major urban hubs of the world, seeking an equitable, sustainable and respectful growth of different cultures and genders.
“As we rebuild a stronger industry and grow, we must ensure that growth includes each and every one of us. We must not leave any nation, person or animal behind, as we benefit from tourism to build a world that future generations can enjoy and prosper,” said Julia Simpson, President and CEO of the WTTC.
The world tourism authorities recognize that they are going through the worst crisis in its history, which is why they call on national governments and private companies to promote strategies that allow the recovery of the sector with an important participation in the world economy.
The industry, which according to WTTC data, is responsible for generating one in four new jobs, also employs people of diverse origins, age ranges, gender and ethnicity, including 53% women and 30% young people.
Even far from overcoming the pandemic, the world begins to open up again, this time with a vocation for inclusion and sustainability that the travel and tourism industry intends to turn into its main pillar for the future.