The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 23rd Global Summit, held in Kigali, has brought forth optimistic news for the global Travel & Tourism sector.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, announced that the sector is experiencing a vigorous comeback, reaching its pre-pandemic strength of 2019.
Data from WTTC and Oxford Economics indicates a surge in global travel, with regions recovering at a pace faster than anticipated. The Asia-Pacific region is leading this resurgence. Simpson highlighted the sector’s resilience and enduring appeal, noting that travel has a longstanding appeal to consumers. She acknowledged that while China’s full recovery potential is yet to be realized, the global sector’s performance is surpassing expectations.
In addition to the recovery data, the WTTC also unveiled the latest Environmental Impact Research data (ESR), developed in partnership with the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), a branch of the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia. This groundbreaking research provides comprehensive environmental data on the Travel & Tourism sector, including information on greenhouse gas emissions, energy, and water use.
The ESR data reveals that in 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector was responsible for 8.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, 10.6% of total global energy consumption, and 0.9% of freshwater use. This data encompasses 185 countries across all regions and includes impacts both within national borders and in international supply chains. The WTTC plans to update this data annually, providing an invaluable resource for understanding the sector’s environmental impact.
The Global Summit in Kigali has attracted delegates from around the world, including football legend Didier Drogba, Global Economist Justin Urquhart-Stewart, Francis Gatare, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, and various Heads of State from the region. Other notable speakers include Climate Activist Ineza Umuhoza Grace, Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer at Arsenal Football Club, and David Pekoske, TSA Administrator of the United States.
With WTTC members, international media, and government representatives from over 45 countries in attendance, the event in Kigali marks a significant moment for the Travel & Tourism sector, showcasing its resilience, its commitment to sustainability, and its vital role in the global economy.