Six ways Travel & Tourism can embrace the future
Themes from the WTTC Global Summit 2016 in Dallas, Texas
As the 600 leaders from global Travel & Tourism’s public and private sectors depart Dallas, Texas and the 16th WTTC Global Summit, we are left with a strong message for the future. It is time for Travel & Tourism to look beyond the boundaries of its own businesses, destinations, and operations and show a broader leadership, as befits an industry sector that is responsible for nearly 10% of the world’s GDP.
‘Travel Beyond Boundaries’ brought together senior US government officials, the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization, industry CEOs and internationally recognised thought leaders in the fields of global mega-trends, security, finance, and technology. After 12 hours of conference discussions, with 70 speakers and 11 panel sessions, the themes emerging were clear:
1. Climate change, terrorism, pandemics and cybercrime know no boundaries. In order to operate effectively in an interdependent world that is becoming ever more connected and inter-reliant, our sector requires leadership that looks beyond the normal boundaries of business. Travel & Tourism needs to assert itself as a relevant and effective part of the solution to global challenges.
2. Global security and terrorism is the overriding concern of industry leaders from both public and private sectors. Travel & Tourism has to ensure that freedom to travel is maintained by engaging with security agencies, investing in technological solutions and ensuring mechanisms are in place for effective crisis response.
3. Travel & Tourism continues to perform well and future prospects remain good. Nevertheless with the number of international travellers projected to nearly double by 2030, growth needs to be managed effectively. Travel & Tourism must take responsibility for its impact in a world of shrinking resources.
4. For the first time empirical evidence has confirmed the sector as a driver of peace. Countries with sustainable and open tourism sectors are more resilient to the challenges posed by conflicts. This power to be a force for good must be harnessed and preserved by policy makers and governments.
5. Digital and mobile technology and ever more sophisticated automation continue to drive opportunities and disrupt traditional business models. In a sector that differentiates on customer service, seamless travel is becoming a reality. Travel & Tourism needs to strike the right balance between technology and service and ensure that the skills of the future workforce reflect this.
6. We are seeing a shift from controlled, centralised businesses, to those which value transparency and lateral economies of scale. Companies that look outside themselves, provide external leadership, and are not afraid to do things differently are those that will succeed.
You can view the Summit livestream videos on demand on the WTTC website.