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Sakura Quality Announced as GSTC-Recognized Standard

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Sakura Quality Announced as GSTC-Recognized Standard - DISCOVERJAPAN.org - TRAVELINDEXKyoto, Japan, April 15, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is pleased to announce that ‘Sakura Quality An ESG Practice Standard’ for hotels and ryokans in Japan has achieved ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status.

In Japan, particular qualities are associated with different flowers, and the quality associated with Sakura, the cherry blossom, is “spiritual beauty.” Sakura Quality began research in April 2011 and is currently working with 26 DMOs across Japan as a quality certification system that certifies quality together with DMOs across Japan (as of April 2022) and has adopted over 2,000 criteria for lodging facilities.

The ‘Sakura Quality An ESG Practice Standard’ for hotels and ryokans in Japan consists of 172 items: 117 environment-related items, 17 social-related items, and 38 business-related items.

The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself, indicating that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the standard or system equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards is based on the four pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Sustainable Management, Socioeconomic, Cultural, and Environmental principles. GSTC Recognition does not relate to the process of certification or accreditation.

“Sakura Quality has been conducting quality inspections of lodging facilities based on the Sakura Quality Standards that consist of items related to providing safe, secure, and honest services. In addition to providing safe, secure, and honest services, the ‘ESG Practice Standard’ consists of 172 criteria, including measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. This is an attempt to certify and disseminate information on SDG initiatives in Japan,” said Mr. Takeshi Kitamura, Sakura Quality CEO.

“The use of the GSTC Criteria and framework is increasing in Japan, and we are pleased to see that Sakura Quality is joining and supporting those efforts with a GSTC-compliant approach and gaining GSTC Recognition of their standard,” said Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

Currently, 11 destination standards, 34 hotel standards, and 15 tour operator standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market proof that these standards adhere to international norms. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to follow and complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practice, transparency, and rigor. A list of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies is available here.

About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; GSTC provides an accreditation program through its partner Assurance Services International to accredit Certification Bodies. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

About Sakura Quality
Sakura Quality is a joint quality certification system between Tourism Quality Assurance Association (TQAA), tourism regions, and DMOs in partnership with TQAA. It is a quality certification system that defines “safety, security, and sincerity” as “quality” that is required of accommodation facilities and reflects customer needs. TQAA manages the standards, manages the logo mark, conducts surveys and research on customer needs, trains surveyors, is the certification body, and operates “third-party committees” consisting of members who are neutral, objective, and highly knowledgeable, to support quality certification systems by DMOs and other organizations.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Indonesia to Relocate Capital to Borneo Jungle

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Indonesia to Relocate Capital to Borneo Jungle - VISITINDONESIA.net - TRAVELINDEXJakarta, Indonesia, April 4, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Parliament in Jakarta approved a bill to relocate Indonesia’s capital from Jakarta to a site deep within the jungle of Kalimantan on Borneo island, the most significant advancement of an idea the country’s leaders have been toying with for years. The new state capital law, which provides a legal framework for President Joko Widodo’s ambitious $32 billion mega project, stipulates how development of the capital will be funded and governed.

Indonesia has announced that its new capital will be called Nusantara, meaning “archipelago” in Javanese. It came as parliament approved a bill to relocate the capital from Jakarta, which is rapidly sinking. The idea of building a new capital 1,300km (800 miles) away on the island of Borneo was first proposed in 2019.

But critics have said the new name could be confusing and that the move itself fails to take environmental factors into consideration.

Plans to relocate the government from Jakarta – a bustling metropolis of 10 million people that suffers from chronic congestion, floods, pollution, and is sinking because of over-extraction of groundwater – have been floated by multiple presidents, but none have made it this far.

“The new capital has a central function and is a symbol of the identity of the nation, as well as a new centre of economic gravity,” Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa told parliament after the bill was passed into law.

Borneo is known for its jungles and orangutan population, mineral-rich East Kalimantan is home to only 3.7 million people, according to the most recent census.

The initial relocation will start from between 2022 and 2024, with roads and ports prioritised to enable access, with some projects operating as public private partnerships, the finance ministry said.

Plans to move the government away from Jakarta, a megacity of 10 million people that suffers from chronic congestion, floods and air pollution, have been floated by multiple presidents, but none have made it this far.

Jokowi, as the president is known, first announced his plan in 2019, but progress was delayed by COVID-19.

The new city has a name chosen by him – Nusantara, a Javanese term for the Indonesian archipelago – but no timeframe has yet been set for finalisation of the project, and Jakarta will remain the capital until a presidential decree is issued to formalise the change.

Nusantara would follow in the footsteps of new capitals in other countries, notably Brazil and Myanmar.

It will strengthen supply chains and place Indonesia “in a more strategic position in world trade routes, investment flows, and technological innovation,” the government said in a statement.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy has envisioned the new capital as a low-carbon “super hub” that will support pharmaceutical, health and technology sectors and promote sustainable growth beyond Java island.

The move will cost an estimated 466 trillion rupiah ($32.4bn; £23.8bn) and will be one of the biggest infrastructure projects the Indonesian government has ever undertaken.

Nusantara will be led by a chief authority whose position is equivalent to a minister, deputy chair of the bill’s special committee, Saan Mustofa.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

JTB Signs MOU with GSTC for Sustainable Tourism Strategy

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JTB Signs MOU with GSTC for Sustainable Tourism Strategy - TRAVELINDEXTokyo, Japan, March 12, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / On the occasion of its 110th anniversary, JTB Corp., one of the travel and tourism industry leaders, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and became a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). By signing an MOU with the GSTC, JTB further accelerates its sustainability initiatives in its business domain, promoting sustainability strategies based on more global standards and refine JTB’s management and business to a level that can continue to coexist with the social and natural environment.

In collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), JTB announces sustainable tourism strategy on its 110th anniversary. JTB plans to bring positive enhancement of sustainability through its extensive market reach, stretching over 215 offices in 87 cities located in 37 countries/regions.

Improving JTB Business and Supply Chain Using the GSTC Criteria

JTB will expand its social, economic, cultural and environmental information, products and solutions based on the GSTC Criteria, and expand its customers’ sustainability options. In addition, JTB will deepen its customers’ understanding, such as addressing sustainability at the places we visit, recognizing issues, and raising awareness.

JTB will strengthen cooperation with hotels and destination management companies (DMCs) that are certified by GSTC-Accredited Certification Bodies, along with formulating a new policy related to supply chains.

Next Generation of Sustainability Practitioners

In cooperation with the GSTC, JTB plans to provide training to enable employees, suppliers and related stakeholders who are tourism operators to gain knowledge of the GSTC Criteria and to apply it in their operations.

JTB will also put emphasis on inspiring the next generation of JTB’s workforce to offer increasingly sustainable products and services.

Commenting on the JTB-GSTC MOU

“A growing number of businesses around the world are expanding their sustainability initiatives in alignment with GSTC global criteria. It is clear to JTB that the time is ripe to step up the pace of the industry’s journey towards sustainability in the domestic Japan market and beyond. Through an exhaustive materiality assessment, JTB has identified the following three sustainability priorities: (1) Enriching the Human Experience, (2) Nurturing our Surroundings, and (3) Engaged Partnering. Our MOU with GSTC establishes the framework for a powerful, far-reaching sustainability partnership that will guide JTB’s sustainability efforts in the months and years to come. Working closely with GSTC, JTB is committed to bringing its management and operations into alignment with GSTC’s global standards in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of its business and the markets and communities in which it operates,” says Eijiro Yamakita, CEO and President of JTB Corp.

“GSTC well recognizes the importance of JTB in the marketplace and we are delighted to support their continued enhancement of sustainable approaches to their business practices,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO. “We look forward to a productive collaboration.”

“JTB’s sustainability strategy is expected to bring significant changes to the Asia-based tourism businesses. I have no doubt that the capacity building of their human resources and cooperation with suppliers and partners will in the near future present a model for the tourism industry in Asia and will further promote sustainability in all tourism industries globally” says Dr. Mihee Kang, GSTC Director Asia-Pacific.

About GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

About JTB Corp.
Today’s JTB traces its roots back to Japan Tourist Bureau, an agency formed in 1912 for the purpose of servicing the ticketing needs of foreign tourists in Japan. Over the span of its first 100 years, JTB steadily evolved into a travel and tourism industry leader. JTB Corp. and JTB Group, hereafter referred to as “JTB”, is an entity in the field of tourism, providing the service of travel agents, tour operators, land operators, consultation services and providing tourism educational service, legally registered in Japan and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with branch offices all over Japan, Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and South America. Through vision, integrity, innovation, and unsurpassed know-how, the JTB Group consistently creates unparalleled value for its stakeholders.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

China’s Tourism Sector Could Reach CNY 11 trillion in 2022

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China’s Tourism Sector Could Reach CNY 11 trillion in 2022 - TRAVELINDEXBeijing, China, February 21, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / New research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed China’s Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to GDP could reach CNY 11 trillion this year, just 5.2% short of pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, before the pandemic struck, China’s Travel & Tourism sector’s contributed CNY 11.5 trillion to GDP (11.6% of the country’s economy).

However, in 2020 the pandemic had a major impact on the sector and Travel & Tourism’s contribution to the Chinese economy fell by a staggering 59.9%, to CNY 4.6 trillion.

Latest research from the global tourism body shows that as the national economy begins to recover, the contribution of the sector to the country’s economy and jobs could reach almost pre-pandemic levels this year.

WTTC research shows that if China, with more than 87% of its population already fully inoculated, begins to ease restrictions throughout the year, the sector’s contribution to GDP could reach CNY 11 trillion in 2022, just 5.2% behind pre-pandemic levels.

After a loss of more than 16 million jobs in 2020, when Travel & Tourism businesses in China suffered serious losses due to severe travel restrictions and complete border closures, most of these could be recovered if the country continues to focus on its Travel & Tourism sector and particularly reopening its borders to international visitors.

The sector could recover more than 14 million jobs to reach nearly 81 million jobs in 2022 – just 1.7% below 2019 levels.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “China is a critical player in the global Travel & Tourism sector. It has done well to drive domestic tourism during the pandemic, but international travel has come to a halt. The benefits to opening borders represent a boost in both economic wealth and jobs.

“Our latest research shows 2022 could bring a strong recovery for Travel & Tourism globally, with pent-up demand and vaccination rates driving the recovery of this economically boosting sector.

“Millions of livelihoods depend on a thriving Travel & Tourism sector, but there is still work ahead if we want to achieve a full economic recovery and bring back all the jobs that were lost.”

A look at the Asia Pacific region

WTTC’s research shows the forecast for the Asia Pacific region could be equally positive, with the region’s Travel & Tourism sector also approaching pre-pandemic levels this year.

According to the research, the sector’s contribution to the region’s GDP could reach CNY 20 trillion (USD 2.9 trillion), near pre-pandemic levels, while employment could reach over 190 million jobs, surpassing 2019 figures and providing an additional five million jobs to the sector.

To reach close to pre-pandemic levels this year, WTTC says the Chinese government and governments around the world must continue focussing on the vaccine and booster rollout – allowing fully vaccinated travellers to move freely without the need for testing.

The global tourism body also urges governments to ditch the patchwork of restrictions and enable international travel using digital solutions that allow travellers to prove their status in a fast, simple, and secure way.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Singapore Tourism Board Joins PATA as Newest National Government Member

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Singapore Tourism Board Joins PATA as Newest National Government Member - VisitSinagpore.org - TRAVELINDEXSingapore, Singapore, February 21, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is pleased to welcome the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) as its newest government member. STB’s mission is to shape a dynamic tourism landscape for Singapore in partnership with industry and community.

Discover Singapore with VisitSingapore.org, a travel guide to Singapore

PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera said, “I am truly honoured to welcome the Singapore Tourism Board to the PATA family. Their focus on wellness, innovation and sustainability in the post pandemic landscape is in line with PATA’s mission in acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. STB understands that as we look towards recovery, constructive and coordinated cooperation across the region and between all industry stakeholders is critical. I look forward to working with them to support their strategic initiatives and welcome them into the PATA global community.”

Keith Tan, Chief Executive, STB said, “STB looks forward to working with PATA and its members to drive sustainable tourism development and to support the recovery of travel and tourism in the Asia-Pacific. PATA also plays a leadership role in bridging knowledge gaps, fostering cross-cutting cooperation and bringing strategic partners together. We look forward to sharing our experiences and contributing to these efforts.”

The STB is a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore. It champions the development of Singapore’s tourism sector, one of the country’s key service sectors and economic pillars, and undertakes the marketing and promotion of Singapore as a tourism destination.

STB is working towards COVID-resilience and recovery for Singapore, as tourism remains an important economic pillar for the country. The Board has focused its efforts to transform the industry by driving innovation, building digital and marketing capabilities and forging partnerships beyond the tourism industry. Together with tourism stakeholders, STB is also reimagining Singapore’s products and experiences with a focus on areas such as health and safety, technology, as well as sustainability.

STB continues to market Singapore’s multi-faceted appeal as a premier business and leisure destination, and offer empowering and customised experiences. The organisation brings the “Passion Made Possible” brand to life by differentiating Singapore as a vibrant destination that inspires people to share and deepen their passions. This is a unified brand between STB and Economic Development Board (EDB) which will allow the international marketing of Singapore for tourism and business purposes. STB also regularly reviews and updates the tourism regulatory framework to ensure its relevance in the current business environment, while providing support and incentives to catalyse the private sector to take the lead in investing for growth.

Discover Singapore with VisitSingapore.org, a travel guide to Singapore

About PATA
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for-profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, which including government, state and city tourism bodies; international airlines and airports; hospitality organisations, and educational institutions, as well as thousands of young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world. The PATA network also embraces the grassroots activism the PATA Chapters and Student Chapters, who organise numerous travel industry training programmes and business development events across the world. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 32 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 28 PATA Student Chapters globally. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing and London.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

New Projects to Set Scottish Tourism Sector on Road to Net Zero

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New Projects to Set Scottish Tourism Sector on Road to Net Zero - TRAVELINDEXEdinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, February 19, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Travel Foundation is working with VisitScotland and Scotland’s three economic development agencies on a package of COP26 legacy projects that will further establish Scotland’s tourism sector as a global leader in the race to net zero.

As part of the Destination Net Zero programme, funded through the Scottish Government’s Tourism Recovery Programme and developed by the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG), the projects will accelerate climate action within the sector, while sharing the lessons so that destinations worldwide can also benefit.

It follows on from the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, launched at COP26, which both VisitScotland and the Travel Foundation helped draft, and which the latter is now delivering in partnership with the UN’s World Tourism Organisation.

Nationally, the Travel Foundation will work with place-making agency TOPOSOPHY to help Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, VisitScotland and other stakeholders to develop their Destination Net Zero Action Plan. The plan will outline the next phases of support for Scotland’s tourism industry to enable further progress towards net zero.

Regionally, the Travel Foundation will work with VisitScotland and the three enterprise agencies to launch pilot schemes in Glasgow, the Outer Hebrides, and Inverness & Loch Ness to support destinations to develop climate action plans.

Adding a tactical approach, the Travel Foundation and VisitScotland are working with a major tour operator, The Travel Corporation, on a pilot project that will be instrumental in developing a practical sector framework for addressing Scope 3 emissions in tourism – those that occur in the tourism value chain, such as accommodations, ground transport and food production. The Travel Corporation’s Scottish based brands include Haggis Adventures, Highland Explorer Tours and The Skye Inn, in addition to group touring brands such as Contiki, Trafalgar and Insight Vacations and Red Carnation Hotel group, which is opening the 5-star 100 Princes Street in Edinburgh later this year. The Travel Corporation has recently developed an internal carbon calculator that will help with Scope 3 estimates and be integral to setting the group’s carbon reduction targets.

Both pilot projects will be supported by behaviour change experts BehaviorSMART who will recommend innovative ways to “design out” carbon-intensive business practices and customer behaviours.

It is anticipated that the new processes, tools and trainings from each of these projects can be applied across Scotland and will support global efforts, through the Glasgow Declaration initiative, to help travel and tourism organisations plan a pathway towards net zero. The Glasgow Declaration already has support from more than 500 businesses and organisations, including The Travel Corporation which was a launch signatory for the declaration at COP26.

Tourism Minister Ivan McKee said:

“Destination Net Zero will play an important role in helping support Scotland’s tourism sector transition to a low carbon future through globally recognised leadership in responsible, sustainable managed growth.

“Our ambitious climate targets align with our intention for Scotland to be world leading in 21st century tourism as set out in Scotland Outlook 2030, our national tourism strategy.”

Jeremy Sampson, CEO of The Travel Foundation, said:

“Scotland has adopted a leadership role on climate action in tourism, and the work we are doing now will improve understanding of – and hopefully resolve – some of the challenges that all destinations are facing as they plan their transition towards net zero. It is important that other destinations follow in Scotland’s footsteps, and we hope these initiatives will create useful tools, guidance and a way forward.”

Malcolm Roughead OBE, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:

“As the first national tourism organisation to declare a climate emergency, we have long been committed to leading the development of Scotland as a responsible destination. Climate change is one of the biggest long-term challenges facing the tourism sector. We must take action if we want to preserve and enhance Scotland’s natural and built assets to create an environment which benefits communities, businesses and our visitors. Through the Destination Net Zero programme, we want to support tourism businesses on their journey to net zero. By working together, we can help Scotland become a world-class destination, and the best destination for responsible tourism.”

Shannon Guihan, Chief Sustainability Officer & Head of TreadRight at The Travel Corporation said:

“As we embark on our own ambitious path to reduce our carbon, the need to engage directly with progressive destinations is clear to us. We, as the visitor and Scotland, as the host in this case, can identify practical steps to address our Scope 3 emissions, addressing the challenge from the perspective of supply and demand jointly rather than in our own silos. Our brands such as Haggis Adventures, Highland Explorer Tours, Trafalgar and more are dedicated to operationalising Scotland’s own net zero ambitions.”

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Tourism Raises Its Voice for Peace

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UNWTO - Tourism Raises Its Voice for Peace - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, February 19, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, people, as well as our whole societies and economies, have suffered enough. We cannot afford for this to continue. We must rebuild and look to the future with hope, not fear.

Peace and mutual understanding are essential ingredients for recovery. Now is the time to work together, and for diplomacy instead of conflict in all parts of the world. We must not allow political tensions to turn into a man-made crisis that will undermine our collective progress.

Tourism is the main bridge for building understanding. It has a unique ability to promote peace between and among peoples everywhere.

Tourism is the main bridge for building understanding. It has a unique ability to promote peace between and among peoples everywhere. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) stands firmly with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his call for all countries to settle disputes through peaceful means and not through conflict, and that they respect international security and justice at all times.

As a part of the UN, giving a voice to people of all regions, backgrounds and nationalities, UNWTO also believes that the spirit of international solidarity and shared values that define not just tourism but also our common humanity will prevail. We also hope that diplomatic efforts to avoid conflict continue and succeed.

Zurab Pololikashvili
Secretary-General

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UK Tourism Sector to Hit £192 billion if Government Keeps Borders Open

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UK Tourism Sector to Hit £192 billion if Government Keeps Borders Open - TRAVELINDEXLondon, United Kingdom, February 18, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / New data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) shows the UK’s Travel & Tourism sector is recovering, with the country’s GDP predicted to rise to £192 billion, just 19% below pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

The global tourism body forecasts a healthy recovery for the UK Travel & Tourism sector if travel restrictions and unnecessary testing protocols remain off limits for the rest of the year.

According to the latest research, it could also mean a net gain in jobs for the sector, with a rise of 1.7% on pre pandemic levels, resulting in some 4.3 million people being employed within Travel & Tourism by the end of the year, 70,000 more than in 2019.

This latest WTTC data will come as welcome news to the country’s battle-scarred Travel & Tourism sector as it looks forward to travel returning.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Travel & Tourism to and from the UK is poised for a full recovery. By the end of this year, we estimate its contribution to national economy could reach £192 billion.

“While the UK was one of the worst hit in terms of the sector’s contribution to GDP, the future is looking positive. But this will depend on the government keeping to its pledge to re-open UK Plc and not reintroducing the chaotic travel restrictions that actually had zero impact on the spread of the virus.”

Last week, research from WTTC revealed that as the world began its recovery from pandemic, the sector’s contribution to both the global economy and employment could reach almost pre-pandemic levels this year.

It forecasts that the global Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to the global economy could reach $8.6 trillion this year, just 6.4% behind pre-pandemic levels.

WTTC has long urged governments to support vaccine and booster rollouts with repealing restrictive and ineffective travel restrictions.

This would help reboot the Travel & Tourism sector to pre-pandemic levels and restore jobs to just 1% below levels last seen in 2019.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

The global tourism body also urges governments around the world to remove the patchwork of restrictions, allow the fully vaccinated to travel freely and enable international travel using digital solutions that allow travellers to prove their status in a fast, simple and secure way.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Making Communities Central Part of Tourism’s Future

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UNWTO Making Communities Central Part of Tourism’s Future - TRAVELINDEXSkiathos, Greece, February 16, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO is supporting communities as they prepare to welcome visitors back and realize the potential of tourism to kickstart recovery and drive sustainable and inclusive growth.

As restrictions on travel continue to be steadily eased or lifted, UNWTO is shifting its focus from supporting its Members as they mitigate the impacts of the historic crisis to rethinking tourism’s longer-term role in building resilience and providing opportunity. Through Technical Assistance packages, UNWTO is on the ground in every global region.

On the ground in Greece

Illustrating UNWTO’s commitment to working with communities themselves to rethink and restart tourism, a new partnership with the Municipality of Skiathos is advancing people-first policies. For decades, tourism has been a pillar of economic growth and opportunity for the residents of the island, one of Europe’s leading destinations. Now, as the sector restarts and recovers from the impacts of the pandemic, UNWTO is working alongside local authorities on a package of technical advice and practical assistance.

In the immediate term, UNWTO experts will work with the Municipality to assess the marketing strategy of the island and recommend adaptations and necessary improvements, with a particular emphasis on the destination’s commitment to using tourism as a driver of sustainable development.  At the same time, and in order to ensure the sector works for everyone on Skiathos, UNWTO will also study local residents’ views on tourism and assess how they can be more involved in tourism planning and development.

This represents the first Technical Assistance package developed by UNWTO in Greece. The Mayor of Skiathos Thodoris Tzoumas welcomed the initiative as a “significant collaboration regarding tourism recovery in Skiathos following pandemic. At present, we are waiting for the initiation of the collaboration. With the synergy and support from the leading bodies of the world and our country when it comes to tourism, we are certain that we will manage to achieve the best results to everyone’s benefit”.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Transformation Towards Tourism of the Future – Declaration Signed in Panama

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Transformation Towards Tourism of the Future – Declaration Signed in Panama - TRAVELINDEXPanama City, Panama, February 16, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / On February 9, six tourism ministers and the regional tourism authorities, along with the executives of Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), held a roundtable in Panama and co-signed the Declaration, “Transforming towards the Tourism of the Future.”

While the host country Panama welcomes buyers from eight countries to the ATTA event, Latin American Adventure Next held in Panama City, Iván Eskildsen, Minister of Tourism of Panama extended the invitations to the regional ministers to discuss tourism sector collaboration. Eskildsen’s team initiated the declaration idea and prepared the draft. Following a two-hour, round-table discussion, the ministers all agreed to support the Declaration, which received 11 signatures.

The support was given by the ministers of tourism of Panama (Iván Eskildsen), Colombia (Ricardo Galindo), Costa Rica (Gustavo Alvarado), Ecuador (Niels Olsen), Guatemala (Alejandro De León) and Honduras (Luis Guillermo Chévez), joined by the high authorities of Brazil (Bruno Wending, Secretary of Tourism, Mato Grosso do Sul), Panama (Fernando Fondevila, Executive Director, PROMTUR) and Jordan (Malia Asfour, Director of North America), as well as Shannon Stowell, ATTA CEO, and Gabi Stowell, ATTA Regional Director for Latin America & Caribbean.

The Declaration is in response to a call by UNWTO for the public and private sectors to reconsider the development of the industry as it recovers. UNWTO has identified this time as an opportunity to accelerate tourism’s shift towards greater sustainability.

When asked what prompted him to lead this regional collaborative initiative, Eskildsen says, “As human beings, we need to improve the way we do things in relation to the planet, to people and to our countries. Latin America has amazing similarities such as biodiversity and cultures. We are with the type of mindset: If we can share experiences to improve our wellbeing in our region, then it’s also good for the individual countries. What is good for the beehive, would benefit individual bees, like Marcus Aurelius of Roma said. Our Declaration draft received support from all ministers, who are also supporters of better ideas and more visionary strategies.”

Eskildsen states that Panama will continue to implement its blueprint, the Sustainable Tourism Master Plan approved by the Cabinet and the President. Among many strategies, Panama will continue to work on innovative tourism experiences with the private sector, to showcase and to get the interests of the international markets.

Haybina Hao reporting from Panama City.

Haybina is an international travel industry reporter and has been reporting in both Chinese and English. Linkedin


DECLARATION:  TRANSFORMATION TOWARDS THE TOURISM OF THE FUTURE

WE AGREE

that the future of tourism is collaborative, bringing together the ancestral wisdom of local and indigenous communities with pioneering scientific and economic knowledge in service to long-term stewardship of integrated ecosystems.

WE BELIEVE

the future of tourism is regenerative.  It is our opportunity to rethink the way we interact with nature and people to regenerate invaluable ancestral knowledge in order to face the current anthropogenic climate crisis.

WE RECOGNIZE

the future of tourism is green and blue. It is imperative that our industry protect and regenerate the last wild places and carbon sinks in both land and ocean.

WE ARE COMMITTED

to the transformation towards a carbon-neutral and more socially resilient tourism economy – including new business models through digitalization – thus providing the opportunity to ensure a fair distribution of its benefits and contributing to a global economic reactivation.

Signed in Panama City, the 9th of February, 2022.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News