Tourism Ministers call for higher policy coordination between tourism and aviation

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Taleb Rifai

A commitment to improving air connectivity through a closer coordination of tourism and aviation policies to ensure the sustained growth of the tourism sector and of air transport has come out of the annual UN World tourism Organization (UNWTO) & World Travel Market (WTM) Ministers´ Summit in London, on Tuesday 5 November 2013.

Critical issues related to bridging air transport and tourism policies, including the current regulatory framework, taxation and the way forward in facilitating the all travel process were discussed in a panel debate that gathered Tourism Ministers and private sector representatives from around the world.

Speakers highlighted technology, public-privatec partnerships across government, regional cooperation and investment in soft infrastructure – technology and human resources – as keys to bridging the gap between tourism and air transport policies and promoting travel facilitation.

Taxation and a regulatory framework still limited in most cases by reciprocity in air transport agreements were highlighted as the two  main barriers to the sustained growth of tourism and air transport. The impact of increasingly high taxes on air transport was identified as a particular impediment to the development of destinations with a significant tourism sector and which are highly dependent on air lift such as the Caribbean.

UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai says "It is clear that in spite of the interdependent relationship between aviation and tourism, greater efforts must be exerted by both sectors to achieve an integrated policy position to ensure a more sustainable and competitive growth."

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’31″

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