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WTTC’s Global Summit in Kigali opens with message of Tourism Recovery post-Covid

As the 23rd Global Summit of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) commenced in Kigali yesterday, a remarkable resurgence in the global Travel & Tourism sector was unveiled by WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson. The industry is bouncing back to the vibrant levels witnessed in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most recent data, a result of the collaboration between WTTC and its partner Oxford Economics, paints a picture of a thriving global travel industry, with all regions rebounding at a pace surpassing previous predictions. Notably, the Asia-Pacific region leads this impressive resurgence.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Global Summit in Kigali, Simpson expressed her enthusiasm, saying, “Our latest data underscores our sector’s enduring appeal and resilience, recovering faster than anticipated. This trend underscores the enduring desire for travel among consumers. Despite China’s full recovery potential remaining untapped, the global travel sector is surpassing expectations.”

Revelation of Latest Sector Sustainability Figures

WTTC has recently introduced the latest Environmental Impact Research data (ESR) that is set to reshape the industry, in collaboration with the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), a division of the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia. This groundbreaking initiative was initiated during last year’s WTTC Global Summit in Riyadh.

The ESR data represents the most comprehensive environmental insights in the history of Travel & Tourism. It includes greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and water usage across the sector’s supply chain, both domestically and internationally.

The data reveals that in 2019, Travel & Tourism accounted for 8.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, 10.6% of total global energy consumption, and 0.9% of freshwater usage. This data, which encompasses 185 countries worldwide, will be updated annually with the latest statistics.

This initiative builds upon WTTC’s renowned Economic Impact Research and introduces customised factsheet for individual countries and major global regions. Additionally, a dedicated micro-site enables users to delve into the data in detail.

As the host of the inaugural WTTC Global Summit in Africa, Kigali’s event boasts an impressive lineup of speakers and delegates. Football legend Didier Drogba, renowned global economist Justin Urquhart-Stewart, and Francis Gatare, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, are among the notable figures in attendance. Several Heads of State from the region are also participating.

Other prominent speakers include Climate Activist Ineza Umuhoza Grace, Chief Commercial Officer at Arsenal Football Club Juliet Slot, and David Pekoske, the TSA Administrator of the United States. The event in Kigali has drawn delegates from WTTC member organizations, international media, and government representatives from over 45 countries, making it a global focal point for the travel and tourism industry.

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