Prompt: We've heard about the global megatrends that are shaping our world and explored the interconnected nature of our industry through the example of airlines.
Now we must ask: what are we going to do about it? How can we mobilize our industry to work together to create the biggest influence? For an industry that contributes 9% of Global GDP (or $6 trillion) and employs 260 million people (or one in 12 jobs on the planet) the travel industry as a whole has not always been a successful communicator to governments, wider society and the media. Addressing this problem is the shared goal of numer- ous different organisations, bodies, companies etc. So, this session will demonstrate to the audience the progress that has been made in the formation of a global travel association coalition to address these deficienies, and to present a more uinited, co-ordinated front to the world.
Moderator: Kathleen Matthews, (executive vice president, Marriott International Inc.)
Panelists and Speakers: Taleb Rifai (UNWTO secretary general), David Scowsill (president & CEO, WTTC)), Martin Craigs (CEO, PATA), Marthinus van Schalkwyk (Minister of Tourism, South Africa), Gerald Lawless (Executive Chairman, Jumeirah Group; Vice Chairman, Aviation, Travel & Tourism Council, World Economic Forum), and Mounir Abdel Nour (tourism minister, Egypt).
David Scowsill: We are not very cohesive with our message to governments. Sharing data with governments. The leaders are leading organizations are all very sensible business people, so we are talking more as one voice more so than we've than in the past.
Talib Rifai: To focus on very concrete predictable. Governments are archaic and are not going about business as they should through taxation. We've trying to use the common denominators that we can agree on. it's this simple messages that we like to disseminate, not the complicated one. Lifting barriers. The stupidity of certain governments--security, visa, control immigration. The data shows otherwise. We need to show these people [governments] how short-sighted they are, and how much they're losing. Taxes are part of life, but we have to be conscious of unreasonable taxation.
Martin Craigs: I'm worried about Western governments about these issues. Taxing and harassing an industry that one hand creates jobs for them, on the hand they are going to suppress demand. It is totally unacceptable morally and economically. Some have also gone on to call it as virtually neo-colonialism.
Marthinus van Schalkwyk: Three ways [to have one voice.] Establish tourism as issue in G20, mainstream our issues among chief executive boards, and e need a mechanism that stands up on our behalf as an industry.
Gerald Lawless: Mobility of travel is essential in today's business.
Mounir Abdel Nour: We have to be loud and clear. I believe taxation, visa, but also a different dimension, promoting peace through tourism, promoting cultures through exchanges. Get together to understand each other.