First WTTC Global Summit in Africa opens in Kigali

Delegations from 45 countries attend
/ New Delhi
First WTTC Global Summit in Africa opens in Kigali

Data suggests that APAC is a bright spot on the map, leading the global travel recovery

WTTC's 23rd Global Summit, the first to be held in Africa, opened in Rwanda on Wednesday with a message of tourism recovery post-Covid.
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The 23rd Global Summit  of the World Travel and Tourism Council commenced on Wednesday in Rwandan capital Kigali.

According to a press statement, WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson says the summit comes as global tourism industry and has caught up with the pre-pandemic vigour.

A report by WTTC and its partner Oxford Economics’ data, global travel is surging back with all regions recovering faster than previously expected. Asia-Pacific (APAC) leads the way.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO

Julia Simpson

“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,” says Simpson.

Data suggests that APAC is a bright spot on the map. With already 50 pc of their pre-pandemic international arrival volumes, Asia Pacific destinations are recovering the fastest in terms of inbound travel, according to latest data by analytics firm ForwardKeys. 

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) forecasts predict that international visitor numbers by the end of 2023 will reach approximately 76 pc of the pre-pandemic levels in 2019. This trend is anticipated to continue, reaching 107 pc in 2024 and 116 pc in 2025. The relaxation of restrictions and the reintroduction of group travel are expected to further improve the situation by the end of 2023.

Latest sector sustainability figures 

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.

WTTC says it represents the most comprehensive environmental data in travel and 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 its international supply chains.

According to the data, travel and tourism was responsible for 8.1 pc of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, 10.6 pc of total global energy and 0.9 pc 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 Economic Impact Research, this initiative introduces individualised factsheets for each country and major global regions, and a dedicated microsite allowing users to explore the data in detail

Delegates from around the world join WTTC Global Summit

As host to the first ever WTTC Global Summit in Africa, the event in Kigali, features some of the top tourism voices and beyond like 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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