General Travel News

WTTC job cuts may stagnate tourism sector

The organization representing the world’s foremost private-sector travel and tourism businesses has reacted with dismay to reports that up to half the staff at the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport could face redundancy under government austerity cuts this year. The World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC), whose members come from many of the biggest tourism organizations and have significant interests in the UK, is protesting cuts that could “stagnate” growth in the sector.

“Yet again, this coalition government has shown incredible short-sightedness and bad judgement," said Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president and CEO of WTTC. “The travel and tourism economy is worth £140 billion to the UK, a similar share of GDP to the financial and business services sector (10.1 percent compared to 9.2 percent, respectively, in 2009), but while the latter received a bailout to the tune of £850 billion and still struggles in its lengthy recovery, the government appears to be actively working to stagnate growth in travel and tourism.”

WTTC points to the UK government’s pledge to prevent expansion at London’s biggest aviation hub – despite the threat of increasing competition to the title from other European airports – the overreaction to the volcanic eruption, the continuing challenges of visa processes and procedures, and unfair taxation from Air Passenger Duty to a VAT increase, which will raise the prices of many of the services offered to visitors.

These, coupled with potential cuts to the department responsible for supporting Britain’s leading tourist institutions – and promoting those institutions to the world – could harm the travel and tourism industry which supports 3.1 million jobs and attracts £24.3 billion in visitor exports in the UK.

“If it continues down this path, the UK will quickly lose its competitive advantage and find itself fall from the top ten league of international destinations,” continued Baumgarten. “We are not asking for a handout, but the private sector needs this government to implement policies that will help it thrive and quickly create new employment opportunities to help bring the UK further out of recession.”

WTTC plans to meet with the Prime Minister to raise his understanding of the potential of the travel and tourism industry – and the challenges it faces – and get his government’s support.

More General Travel News
Dinner with a view at At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa
Six year old invited to try Etihad flight simulator
Turkish Kebab Festival in Riyadh
Latest Travel News
Emirates launches US$15 million campaign...
Six year old invited to try Etihad fligh...
Turkish Kebab Festival in Riyadh...
Featured Sights To See
Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill

Rome, Italy

The Palatine Hill is the centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome, and is one of the most ancient parts of the city.  Overlooking the Roman Forum , this is an area  of majestic ruins and grand views. This is the site where the mythical she-wolf nursed Romulus and Remus. When they were older, Romulus  got into an argument with Remus and killed him . He later went on to found the city of...

Zitouna Mosque

Zitouna Mosque

Tunis, Tunisia

Named after the preaching style of its founder (under the ‘olive tree’), Zitouna Mosque is the largest mosque all over Tunis and is its most famous landmark. It reflects the religion of most Tunisians and has been a very powerful tourist attraction. An extensive library inside the mosque adds to the attractive interior. Though non Muslims are not allowed to enter, they can stroll in the garden aro...

El Hank Lighthouse

El Hank Lighthouse

Casablanca, Morocco

El Hank Lighthouse was built in 1919 to help sailors steer their vessels away from the shore. Until the construction of the lighthouse, many ships got stuck in the sandy banks of Casablanca’s shores. El Hank Lighthouse, also known as Pointe d'el-Hank Light, stands 161 feet high, and its light can be seen from 30 nautical miles away. The lighthouse is a round masonry tower with lantern and gallery....

South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport

New York, United States

The South Street Seaport is a historic district in Lower Manhattan adjacent to the Financial District.  It dates back to the seventeenth century and was the center of commerce in New York City until the 1850s, when steamships came into widespread use.  They required deeper water, and the main port moved to the other side of Manhattan, along the Hudson River.   The area fell into disuse until the s...