Travel facilitation of tourist travel is closely interlinked with tourism development and can be a tool to foster increased demand and generate economic development, job creation and international understanding. This objective is of particular relevance in a moment where most economies look to stimulate their exports and economic growth.
In spite of the great strides made in recent decades in facilitating tourist travel in many regions of the world, there is still room for considerable progress, namely considering the possibilities to maximize the use of information and communication technologies in improving visa procedures.
Recalling the resolutions of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on the facilitation of travel, in particular resolutions 139 (V), 180 (VI), 243 (VIII), and 578 (XVIII) as well as the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, it is important to further evaluate the current situation of visa regimes and procedures and the possibility to build solutions to advance travel facilitation.
Through the initiative of UNWTO and WTTC, a study was undertaken to look at the impacts if visa facilitation on tourism demand and ultimately on job creation. This study was conducted by the Risk and Crisis Management Programme of UNWTO, in cooperation with the Policy and Research Department of WTTC and prepared by Tourism Economics.
The study was presented at the T20 Ministers’ Meeting in Merida taking place in Mexico, and resulted in the Declaration issued by the Tourism Ministers of the G20 (T20) calling for priority to be given to facilitating travel as a means to boost economic growth and create jobs (16 May 2012), and led to the recognition by the G20 world leaders of the importance of Travel and Tourism as a driver of jobs growth and economic recovery in the G20 Leaders Declaration (Los Cabos, 2012).
- Declaration by the Tourism Ministers of the G20
- Declaration by the G20 Leaders
- Press release: Visa Openness levels continue to progress (14 January 2016)
- Press release: G20 recognizes Travel & Tourism as a driver of economic growth for the first time and commits to work on travel facilitation (20 June 2012)
- Press release: UNWTO and WTTC call on the G20 to use tourism’s potential for job creation (16 June 2012)
- Press release: UNWTO welcomes T20 decision to advance visa facilitation (22 May 2012)
- Press release: Visa facilitation can create five million additional jobs in G20 economies (17 May 2012)
- Press release: UNWTO joins industry voices in support of Obama’s move to facilitate travel (20 January 2012)
UNWTO PUBLICATIONS ON VISA FACILITATION
- Study on Visa openness report 2015 (2016)
- Study on Visa openness report 2014 (2014)
- Study on Tourism visa openness report for the Silk Road countries (2014) (Russian version)
- Study on the Impact of visa facilitation in ASEAN member states (2014)
- Study on Tourism visa openness report – T.20 edition (2013)
- Study on the Impact of visa facilitation in APEC economies (2013)
- Study on Tourism visa openness report: Visa facilitation as means to stimulate tourism growth (2013)
- Study on Visa facilitation: Stimulating economic growth and development through tourism (2012)
- Study on the Impact of visa facilitation on job creation in the G20 economies (2012)
- Study on Visa Facilitation in the Silk Road Countries (2001)
- Study on A Strategic Approach to Visa Facilitation in the Silk Road Countries (2005).
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