THE UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) are joining hands to convince world leaders of the need to improve visa application and processing formalities.
The two global bodies have commissioned a study exploring potential economic models if visa policies in each of the G-20 group of major global economies were relaxed, either through making it easier to obtain visas, the use of e-visas, or even opening borders altogether.
“Complicated, lengthy and overpriced entry formalities are making it extremely difficult for tourists to travel, especially (those from) emerging economies which are leading growth in terms of outbound markets,” said Taleb Rifai, secretary-general, UNWTO.
“Travel facilitation is closely interlinked with tourism development and can be key in boosting demand,” said Rifai. “This area is of particular relevance in a moment in which governments are looking to stimulate economic growth but cannot make use of fiscal incentives or public investment.”
The results of the study are due to be presented to the G-20 heads of state at a meeting in Mexico on May 16. The G-20 counts the US, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, France, Germany, the UK and Australia among its members.
Read the full report in TTG Asia, March 9, 2012
Read the full report in ITB Berlin