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Kingfisher

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Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Commission on Sustainable Development Seventh Session 19-30 April 1999, New York

TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

THE GLOBAL IMPORTANCE OF TOURISM

Background Paper #1

Prepared by the World Travel and Tourism Organization and International Hotel and Restaurant Association

The Global Importance of Tourism prepared by the World Travel & Tourism Council and International Hotel & Restaurant Association A. Introduction Creating jobs and wealth 1. Travel & Tourism is the world’s largest industry and creator of jobs across national and regional economies. WTTC/WEFA research show that in 2000, Travel & Tourism will generate, directly and indirectly, 11.7% of GDP and nearly 200 million jobs in the world-wide economy. These figures are forecasted to total 11.7% and 255 million respectively in 2010. 2. Jobs generated by Travel & Tourism are spread across the economy - in retail, construction, manufacturing and telecommunications, as well as directly in Travel & Tourism companies. These jobs employ a large proportion of women, minorities and young people; are predominantly in small and medium sized companies; and offer good training and transferability. Tourism can also be one of the most effective drivers for the development of regional economies. These patterns apply to both developed and emerging economies. Contributing to sustainable development 3. The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the Rio Earth Summit, identified Travel & Tourism as one of the key sectors of the economy which could make a positive contribution to achieving sustainable development. The Earth Summit lead to the adoption of Agenda 21, a comprehensive program of action adopted by 182 governments to provide a global blueprint for achieving sustainable development. Travel & Tourism is the first industry sector...

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