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WTTC warns US Administration that closing borders risks jobs

WTTC warns US Administration that closing borders risks jobs
February 14, 2017

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) President and Chief Executive David Scowsill has warned that the US Government's plans to restrict access by international tourists could have a significant impact on global tourism.

With figures showing a 2% downturn in arrivals to the USA since US Predident Donald Trump’s inauguration, Scowsill, speaking in Las Vegas, USA stated “the United States is in danger of taking the same path it took after the 9/11 terror attacks, which led to a decade of economic stagnation in the travel and tourism sector.

“Strict visa policies and inward-looking sentiment led to a $600 billion loss in tourism revenues in the decade post 9/11, as previously reported by the US Travel Association, with a noted 9% drop in international arrivals in the period of 2001 to 2009.

“The Trump Administration is in danger of steering the country in the same direction, which could have a huge impact on the country’s travel and tourism sector, which generates over 8% of the country’s GDP and supports nearly 10% of total employment in the US.”

Airlines, hotels and travel agencies are all reporting drops in international bookings to the US, following the Executive Order banning visitors from seven countries to enter the country. This is the unintended consequence of the ban announcement, with business and leisure customers from around the world holding back on their travel plans.

Scowsill spoke directly at the Administration during his speech, offering five pieces of advice to the President’s advisors:

• Recognise that travel is a key generator of American jobs and economic growth.
• Keep tourism out of politics. Blanket bans on citizens from specific countries will not make the American people safer. 
• Remember the decade of lost economic growth. Travellers have a choice and they will go elsewhere.
• Use the technology available to share information. That will ensure that only the right people arrive at borders in the first place.
• Consult with the industry in advance of change. This will make the implementation of policies more orderly, fairer and less damaging.

He added “for the President who has promised to create jobs and to make America great again, travel and tourism seems the most obvious answer.

“After all, the livelihood of millions of Americans depends on people being able to use planes, trains and automobiles to spend their tourist dollars.

“Travel and tourism thrives by breaking down barriers, not building them; by making it easier for people to travel, not applying blanket bans. Our sector bridges divides between cultures, fosters understanding across religious and geographic boundaries. It is a massive generator of jobs and economic growth.”

Inbound travel to the USA, has decreased from every nation since January with the exception of Russia which has recorded an 88% rise in visitors to the USA.

16th January 2017 - PERCEPTION OF SAFETY AND SECURITY BOOST AUSTRALIA’S INTERNATIONAL TOURISM GROWTH

8th November 2016 - ALMOST A BILLION GLOBAL TOURISTS ON THE MOVE IN THE FIRST NINE MONTHS OF 2016

10th September 2016 - UNITED NATIONS DECLARES 2017 AS THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM FOR DEVELOPMENT 

1st September 2016 - WTTC CHALLENGES TOURISM BUSINESSES TO SHOW HOW SUSTAINABLE THEY ARE 

23rd August 2016 - GLOBAL TOURISM RESILIENT TO TERRORISM AND FURTHER MACROECONOMIC CHALLENGES

27th June 2016 - CLIMATE CHANGE A MASSIVE THREAT TO GLOBAL HERITAGE AND TOURISM

7th April 2016 - WTTC HEAD URGES GOVERNMENTS NOT TO CLOSE BORDERS IN RESPONSE TO TERRORISM

19th September 2013 - PATA ADVOCATES SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE VISITOR ECONOMY 


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