WTTC launches its Global Best Practices Recognition Initiative – a toolkit to better equip governments worldwide to the value of travel and tourism

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched its Global Best Practices Recognition Initiative, to equip Tourism Ministers, sector leaders, and policymakers worldwide with the insights to develop and implement proven policies in the sector. Travel & Tourism is one of the most dynamic economic sectors in the world, representing 10.4% of global GDP, 1 in 10 jobs on the planet (319 million) and 6.5% of global exports in 2018.

Given its forecasted growth and its ability to drive job creation, reduce poverty, foster regional integration and connect people across the world; Travel & Tourism is a unique position to make a difference, providing opportunities for developing and emerging nations to move up the value chain.

Yet, despite the sector’s ability to be a force for good, best practices across Travel & Tourism are not readily available for both the public and private sector, often compelling governments to unnecessarily reinvent the wheel, researching solutions to problems that have already been successfully innovated on elsewhere in the world.

In this context, WTTC’s Global Best Practices Recognition Initiative seeks to compile quantifiable best practice across Travel & Tourism to provide the sector with a wealth of insights that will enable both the public and private sectors to learn from the successful experiences of other countries as they develop, review and implement Travel & Tourism related policies.

WTTC says this will be an ongoing Initiative, continually updated by integrating the most recent quantifiable success stories into a new online repository to ensure that the most innovative policies are shared among Travel & Tourism networks.

It launches by promoting ‘Quick Win’ policies and ‘Game Changers’ in the areas of Securing & Facilitating Travel, Prioritising the Sector, and Planning for Sustainable & Inclusive Growth. This will extend to policies related to infrastructure, workforce, technology, regulation, innovations, entrepreneurship, resilience and crisis planning in the future.

WTTC says determining a destination’s future readiness for tourism growth requires a holistic view that accounts not only for its current physical and natural assets, but also for its social capital and the impact of its policies. Whether a city is looking to grow its Travel & Tourism sector or manage rising visitor numbers, WTTC says business and city leaders must balance all the dynamics that make up a city’s fabric.

In its ‘Destination 2030: Global cities’ readiness for tourism growth’ index in partnership with real estate and investment management experts JLL, it has measured and categorised 50 global gateway cities into one of five levels of “readiness” with actionable solutions to foster sustainable growth in tourism activity.

The levels range from emerging to established market tourism hubs with varying levels of infrastructure. They also describe the current opportunities and challenges faced by the cities and provide a recommended path forward for building and maintaining tourism activity.

  • Dawning Developers are cities with an emerging tourism infrastructure, slower tourism growth and lower visitor concentration but have room to grow. Examples include Manila, Moscow and Riyadh.
  • Emerging Performers are cities with an emerging tourism infrastructure, growing tourism momentum and the start of increasing pressures related to tourism growth. Examples include Delhi, Istanbul and Mexico City.
  • Balanced Dynamics are cities that are often financial hubs, with lower shares of leisure, compared to business travel but an established tourism infrastructure and potential for Travel & Tourism growth. Examples include Chicago, Munich and Tokyo.
  • Mature Performers are cities with strong leisure and/or business travel dynamics and an established tourism infrastructure, but risk of future strains related to visitor volume, infrastructure or activity that is testing readiness for additional growth. Examples include Berlin, London and Sydney.
  • Mounting Pressure are cities with high growth momentum driven by leisure travel and established tourism infrastructure. However, these cities face pressures to manage high visitor volumes. Examples include Amsterdam, Barcelona and Prague.

The readiness levels were determined by analysing data on more than 70 indicators. These included the size and density of each city’s current Travel & Tourism market, a wide range of leisure and business drivers, ‘urban readiness’ characteristics such as labour availability, urban infrastructure, environmental factors and stability, and city-level tourism policies.

In another study the WTTC has found that the majority of travellers are willing to share data for a more seamless experience. According to its Megatrends report, whilst 57% of consumers are willing to share information when they feel they are getting a fair exchange, more than nine in 10 (92%), are more likely to share their data, when businesses give them control over what is being collected. Furthermore, almost four in five international travellers (79%) said they would be willing to share their photographs in advance of travel, in order to speed up their journey.

According to the report, a seamless end-to-end travel experience enabled by technologies including biometrics, has five overarching benefits…

  • relieving pressure on infrastructure and enabling travel growth;
  • improving safety and security through better authentication and reduction of fraud;
  • reducing and avoiding costs by ensuring it serves legitimate travellers;
  • enhancing customer satisfaction by eliminating friction and bottlenecks across the journey;
  • integrating all touchpoints of the journey enabled by technologies.

For the international traveller, benefits include improving the overall experience through more efficient processes, the elimination of redundant document checks, the reduction of waiting times and the implementation of a harmonised approach throughout the journey.

With the number of international travellers forecasted to grow by 50% by 2030, there is a real need to create enabling frameworks and processes. As Ms Guevara Manzo notes at present, “a seamless and secure journey is not guaranteed”, and this is something she says “must be addressed jointly by the public and private sectors through investments in infrastructure”.