The Role of Travel in the 21st Century

This is an unprecedented era for travel and tourism and its economic impact on the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the industry’s total contribution to the global economy has risen to 9.5% of global GDP and 1 in 11 of all jobs in the world are travel related. The $7 trillion industry is growing faster than sectors such as financial services, transportation, and manufacturing. According to the World Tourism Organization, there is now a record 1.5 billion international travelers and this number is rapidly increasing.

My 40 years of professional experience has instilled in me the belief that travel and tourism is catalytic: it fosters human development, encourages mutual understanding, and supports the protection of significant places. Sensitive and responsible, sustainable tourism improves the triple bottom line—social, economic, and business growth. As professionals, we have the opportunity to give back: by sharing our knowledge and resources and acting together to safeguard destinations of cultural and natural significance.