UN for positioning tourism high on global agenda

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 11, 2013 12:30 hrs

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) A delegation of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Thursday urged Vice President Hamid Ansari to take measures to position travel and tourism higher on the global agenda.

Secretary General of UNWTO Taleb Rifai accompanied by union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi handed over an "open letter" to Ansari, officials said.

The letter says that travel and tourism currently account directly and indirectly for about 3-5 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 30 percent of the world's export of services.

"If the induced impacts of travel and tourism are factored into the calculations, its total contribution is greater still," it said.

"The total contribution of travel and tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the sector, is estimated at 7-8 percent.

"This makes the sector a vital contributor to the global development agenda, affording it a unique role in building strong, sustainable and balanced global growth," it said.

With a view to acknowledge the instrumental role of tourism in the global economy, the UNWTO and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) have jointly initiated a 'Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign'.

The objective of the campaign is to accord high priority to the development of the tourism sector world over to promote employment and economic development.

The campaign was launched in 2011 and till date 47 countries have joined it.

The open letter along with the testimonials of the head of states and governments who have joined the campaign will be compiled in the Golden Book of Tourism Campaign.

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