COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill and it devastated the Travel & Tourism sector, leading to a GDP loss of more than US$ 4 trillion and 62 million job losses in 2020.
Capital investment in Travel & Tourism also fell significantly from US$ 986 billion in 2019 which amounted to 4.4% of total global investment to US$ 693 billion in 2020 and 3.2% of total investment, representing a 29.7% drop.
As the sector looks to the recovery of international visitors and capital investment, it is essential to understand key trends, priorities, and related opportunities to unlock the full growth potential of the Travel & Tourism sector in years to come.
As we build back better, sustainability and inclusion must be at the heart of a more resilient and competitive Travel & Tourism sector. Achieving success will require the engagement of all stakeholders from the early stages of the planning process, ranging from developers, investors, legislators, and policymakers to community groups.
An effective enabling business environment
As destinations and governments work towards attracting investment, they will need to create an effective enabling environment, and consider overarching incentives including, among others, smart taxation, travel facilitation policies, diversification, innovation and the use of digital technology, the integration of health and hygiene protocols, effective communication, and the importance of a skilled and trained workforce.
Travel & Tourism contributes to public welfare and supports government infrastructure that can enable the sector, destinations and local communities to prosper.
However, the sector is particularly vulnerable to non-productive taxation that essentially discriminates against travellers and/or travel companies in relation to goods and services similarly offered in other sectors.
To overcome these challenges and ensure increased revenues for the public purse as well as a thriving Travel & Tourism sector, the design of taxes and user charges needs to be based on the following key principles: equity, fair revenue generation, efficiency, simplicity, and effective stimulus to growth.
Travel facilitation and specifically visa policies are among the most important governmental policies that influence the development of international Travel & Tourism.
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