In recognition of tourism's ability to create jobs and socio-economic growth, the Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, has accepted the UNWTO/World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Open Letter on Travel and Tourism (Madrid, Spain, 27 January 2015).
Prime Minister Rajoy accepted the Letter from UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, and the President and CEO of WTTC, David Scowsill, on the occasion of the Spain Global Tourism Forum held in Madrid.
"Tourism is a State policy in Spain", said Prime Minister Rajoy stressing that the sector accounts for 10.9% of Spain's GDP and generates one in 9 jobs, and as such "is a strategic sector for both the present and the future of our economy".
Spain is the third most visited country in the world, and the second destination in terms of foreign earnings from tourism. With tourism representing 25% of all new jobs created in Spain in 2014, the sector remains firmly positioned as one of the country's most important economic sectors.
"Spain's remarkable tourism success would not have been possible without support from the highest political level. By accepting the Open Letter, Mr. Rajoy re-affirms the Spanish Government's incredible backing of the tourism sector, which I trust will continue making the sector a key driver in the country's economic and social development", said Mr. Rifai on the occasion.
David Scowsill said: "Spain will host WTTC's 15th annual Global Summit on 15-16 April in Madrid, where WTTC members - the Chairmen and CEOs of the world's leading travel and tourism companies - will convene with government ministers and other industry leaders to debate and recommend policies which drive travel and tourism growth. The hosting of this Global Summit underlines Spain's prioritization of tourism. With the investment and enthusiasm Spain is showing the sector, it is one which will continue to underpin the country's economy for the long term".
The UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter calls on Heads of State and Government around the world to acknowledge key role of tourism in delivering more sustained and balanced socio-economic growth and to prioritize the sector higher in national policies in order to maximize its potential.
In 2014, Spain received 65 million international tourist arrivals - a new historic record and the highest growth (+7%) in the last 14 years.
The next meeting of the Committee will take place in Istria, Croatia, on the occasion of the 100th Session of the UNWTO Executive Council.
The UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter
The UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter outlines Travel & Tourism's value as one of the world's largest generators of jobs, a powerful driver of socio-economic growth and development and a key player in the transformation to the Green Economy. To date, the Open Letter has been received by 71 Heads of State and Government.
This is a press release orginally issued by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)