Tourism T20 On the Cards
South Africa Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk with Lucas Radebe in South Africa
theTravel and tourism should be given more mainstreaming in global economic decision-making says South Africa which is looking for direct support from the G20 countries.
Fifteen of these twenty Tourism Ministers met for a working breakfast on Wednesday at the UNWTO Assembly in Astana, Kazakhstan to discuss the valuable contribution travel and tourism can make to the economic stimuli required for the recovery of the global economy.
The message that emerged from the meeting is that the industry represents an important pillar of efforts to enhance economic growth, infrastructure development, trade promotion, poverty eradication and job creation.
The informal meeting expressed a need to further explore the synergies between strengthened economic cooperation in the G20 on one hand, and the tourism sector"s efforts to build up resilience, stimulate new growth and support the shift to a greener economy on the other.
South Africa has offered to host the first meeting of the so called T20 (Tourism Ministers of the G20) from 22 to 24 February 2010, from which it is envisaged a Communique will be transmitted to the following G20 Summit in Canada.
UNWTO Secretary-General ad interim Taleb Rifai said the Secretariat supported the initiative as the G20 is fast becoming the mechanism for world decision making and stimulus packages still need to recognize fully just what tourism means and what it can do.
Assistant Secretary-General and Spokesperson Geoffrey Lipman said the idea of T20 is a natural evolution and comes at an appropriate moment, once the emergency financial issues have been tackled.
Being connected with the G20 also helped integrate representatives from regional groupings such as the African Union and the European Union.
Korea said the group had to look at how to link the G20 with developing countries. They said they would like to play a role in this process, but that it was also important to seek US support for the T20 initiative.
Australia agreed that the message of tourism"s role needs to be more heavily promoted and that now is the right time to do it. They also want to make sure tourism remains on the agenda once the crisis is over.
The first T20 meeting is scheduled to precede a UNWTO-South Africa Summit on Tourism, Sport and Mega Events scheduled for 24 to 26 February 2010 in Sandton, Johannesburg, and the annual Meetings Africa business exhibition hosted by SA Tourism.
The International Summit on Tourism, Sport and Mega Events will provide a forum that considers the economic, social and environmental impacts of such events from a tourism perspective.
Saturday, October 31, 2009