23rd WTTC summit opens in Kigali with strong message of tourism, travel recovery

Posted on: November 2, 2023, by :

The 23rd World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) global summit kicked off on Wednesday, November 1 in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda with a positive message of global travel  and tourism recovery from the slump as a result of the COVID-19  global pandemic.  WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson revealed that the global travel and tourism sector is making a robust comeback, bouncing back to the pre-pandemic vigour of 2019.

The latest data from WTTC and its partner Oxford Economics shows that global travel is surging back, with all regions recovering faster than previously expected, with Asia-Pacific leading the way.

Speaking at the opening of the Global Summit in Kigali, WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson said: “Our latest data highlights our sector’s enduring appeal and resilience and is recovering faster than anticipated.

“This trend underlines the longstanding consumer appetite for travel, and despite China’s full recovery potential yet to be realised, the global sector’s performance is exceeding expectations.”

WTTC recently launched the latest industry-shaping Environmental Impact Research data (ESR), in partnership with the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), part of the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia.

Last year, during the WTTC Global Summit in Riyadh, the two organisations launched the collaboration and unveiled the inaugural results including the sector’s accurate greenhouse gas emissions for the first time ever. 

This represents the most comprehensive environmental data in Travel & Tourism’s history including the sector’s energy, and water use footprint.

Not only tells the sector’s direct impact, but also its supply chain impacts, both within national borders and those that are embedded in Travel & Tourism’s international supply chains.

According to the data, Travel and tourism was responsible for 8.1% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, 10.6% of total global energy and 0.9% of freshwater use.

The groundbreaking ESR data covers 185 countries across all regions and will be updated each year with the latest figures. 

Building upon WTTC’s world-renowned Economic Impact Research, this initiative introduces individualized fact-sheets for each country and major global regions, and a dedicated micro-site allowing users to explore the data in detail.

As host to the first ever WTTC Global Summit in Africa, the event in Kigali, will feature footballing legend Didier Drogba; Justin Urquhart-Stewart, Global Economist and renowned business commentator; Francis Gatare, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board; as well as Heads of State from the region.

Other speakers include Ineza Umuhoza Grace, Climate Activist; Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer at Arsenal Football Club; and David Pekoske, TSA Administrator of the United States.

WTTC members, international media, and government representation from over 45 countries are also attending the event in Kigali.

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