The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is the forum of business leaders covering the field of travel and tourism which has undertaken to work with various governments. The objective of the organization is to raise awareness of the importance of travel and tourism which generates a significantly large volume of revenue and jobs in all the countries of the world. It is the only organization representing the private sector in the total travel and tourism industry. In order to achieve sustainable tourism development, the governments are encouraged to use the potential of the industry by embracing the policies suggested by WTTC.
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WTTC’s Blueprint for New Tourism
Over the past few years, the travel and tourism industry had to face a number of challenges because of a series of events such as cross-border terrorism, SARS and economic downturn. Nonetheless, these events have also acted on the industry to adopt fundamental changes in the market behavior and establish travel patterns. This has necessitated the emergence of the concept of New Tourism.
In order to translate this new awareness of the travel and tourism sector’s value into potential action and execution and to ensure that the wider benefits anticipated are realized there was the need to evolve a blueprint for the New Tourism which encompassed certain specific goals.
“Travel & Tourism as a partnership, delivering consistent results that match the needs of economies, local and regional authorities and local communities with those of business, based on:
- Governments recognizing Travel and Tourism as a top priority
- Business balancing economics with people, culture and environment
- A shared pursuit of long-term growth and prosperity” (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2003)
Thus, New Tourism can be regarded as a new dimension of travel and tourism which represents the mature response to the consciousness of the world towards the importance of tourism. New Tourism has the role of setting in place a new sense of coherent partnership to be established between the private sector and governments represented by the public authorities (Ibrahim & Girgis, 2008). The objectives of New Tourism can be achieved only with a long-term strategic focus. The focus of New Tourism is centered not only towards the benefits of the people who undertake travel but also for the people in the communities being visited by them. New Tourism extends the benefits to the respective natural, social and cultural environments (Tourism for Tomorrow, 2009).
Indices for Monitoring Competitiveness in Tourism
WTTC Competitiveness Monitor intends to track information pertaining to a number of factors.
The objective of the Monitor is to indicate the extent to which a country can offer a competitive environment for the growth of the travel and tourism industry (Gooroochurn & Sugiyarto, 2004). The importance of the Monitor is understandable from the fact that the travel and tourism industry accounts for more than 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of the world and 200 million job opportunities across the globe. The Monitor has the aim of highlighting the importance of long-term planning and the necessity to include the contribution by travel and tourism sector in all the policy decisions of the governments. A specific set of statistical information on the economic conditions and social status for different countries is available and which can be compared from the basis of computing the Competitiveness Monitor. The data is segregated under eight different categories which are described below:
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“Tourism Price Competitiveness Index (TPCI) shows the tourism price index across countries. It is computed using the Hotel Price Index and Purchasing Power Parity Index.”(WTTC, 2003)
Human Tourism – “The International Human Tourism Index measures the achievement of human development in terms of tourism activity. The Travel & Tourism Sector takes account of people’s influence in various areas of tourism activity. It includes indices that look at the economic impact of Travel & Tourism demand, consumption, exports, imports, balance, personal and business travel and the numbers of arrivals and departures”.(WTTC)
Infrastructure – “The Infrastructure Index shows the level of infrastructure development, combining the Road Index, the Sanitation Index and the Water Access Index. The Railway Index is not included because of the limited data available.”(WTTC, 2003)
Environment – “This indicates governments’ awareness towards environmental aspects of development using population density, CO2 emissions and the ratification of environmental treaties as appropriate indicators.”(WTTC, 2003)
Technology – The monitoring of this index is undertaken through assimilating the data on telephone mainlines, mobile telephones, Internet usability and use of high technology. By using this index, the advancement in modern technological systems is assessed.
Human Resources – “Using data regarding life expectancy, illiteracy rates, education, employment, population, training, skills and gender indicators this indicator shows the competitiveness of the quality of human resources in each country.”(WTTC, 2003)
Openness – “visa requirements, the extent to which a country is open to international tourism, trade openness and taxes on international trade.”(WTTC, 2003)
These indices indicate the tourism openness of the countries.
Social – “The Social Development indicator uses data from daily newspapers, personal computers, television sets and total crimes recorded.”(WTTC, 2003)
Gooroochurn, N., & Sugiyarto, G. (2004). Measuring Competitiveness in the Travel and Tourism Industry. 2009. Web.
Ibrahim, U., & Girgis, A. (2008). Travel & Tourism: Moving on to Sustainability. 2009. Web.
Tourism for Tomorrow. (2009). World Travel & tourism Council. Web.
World Travel & Tourism Council. (2003). Web.
WTTC. (2003). WTTC Launches the Latest Statistics from the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Monitor. 2009. Web.