Enhancing security and facilitating travel in order to ensure sustainable growth of travel and tourism is the top priority for the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), which released a statement on Wednesday on occasion of the World Travel Market (WTM) London 2016.
Private sector and government organizations active in travel and tourism (members of the GTAC) said they were ready to work with governments in order to effectively face the growing challenges including security threats, pandemics and natural disasters which are impacting destinations around the world.
“Safety, security and facilitation are high priorities for our sector and significant investment has been made in initiatives to promote these priorities across airlines, airports, cruise lines, ports, attractions and hotels,” said David Scowsill, president & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
“However, current global security threats can only be effectively addressed through strong and concerted collaborative efforts by governments, the international community, the private sector and civil society. The organizations which constitute GTAC are committed to working with partners around the world to ensure that security and facilitation go hand in hand, and that travel and tourism continues to thrive and bring economic and social benefits to communities.”
The GTAC’s top priorities are: the targeted integration of travel and tourism in local, national, regional and international security planning and implementation structures and procedures; drawing up a risk management approach that guarantees appropriate security controls are applied; the use of innovative and sustainable security technologies and processes to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, while improving the travel experience; developing specific skills needed to build intelligence and address security threats; ensuring greater collaboration and coordination amongst policy makers within and across law enforcement entities, intelligence services and industry; increasing intelligence and information sharing between local, national, regional and international security bodies; finding solutions which consider the needs of citizens and travellers; issuing location-specific and continuously updated travel advisories enhanced by the use of innovative technology; ensuring the dissemination of transparent, accurate, timely and coordinated information in the immediate aftermath of an event; securing appropriate national legislation, regulations and/or policies in support of travelers in need and their families in the aftermath of an event.
Travel and tourism represents 10 percent of the world’s GDP, supports one in 11 jobs and accounts for 6 percent of global exports. In 2015, 1.2 billion people traveled internationally.