Debate to cover cutting visa constraints, simplifying travel
Reducing visa constraints, simplifying entry processes and developing policies that improve connectivity across borders are the topics on the agenda tomorrow for the world’s tourism ministers as they meet at the annual UNWTO & World Travel Market Ministers’ Summit. The WTM opened today in London. Building on the G20 Leaders’ Declaration, which commits to work on “travel facilitation initiatives in support of job creation, quality work, poverty reduction and global growth”, and under the theme of “open borders and open skies: breaking barriers to travel”, the summit will seek to shed light on how countries can work together to ease entry procedures for tourists as a means to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.
“While important steps have been taken over the past few years to facilitate travel, millions of people continue to face unnecessary barriers to travel such as overly complicated and expensive visa processes,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. “These obstacles are not just barriers to travel. They are barriers to economic growth at a time when we need it most. […] Research shows that facilitating visas among the G20 countries would create an additional five million jobs by 2015, for example.
Confirmed panellists include ministers from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and the UK as well as the CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council and the chairman of the executive board of TUI. Joining them in the debate will be 100 Tourism Ministers from around the world.
[photo courtesy WTM]