Published September 11, 2011
Although tourism accounts for 258 million jobs and 9% of the world’s GDP, visa restrictions and stringent border security measures are working against this driver of global economic engine. It is vital that countries take the necessary steps to protect their borders, says World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC), calling upon governments to ‘adopt smarter visa and border security policies to promote travel and tourism as a driver of jobs and economic growth’.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,the security of air transport for both passengers and freight has been transformed and visa regulations heightened. As a result, the aggravation factor for travellers has increased immensely. High costs and lengthy procedures for obtaining visas, bans on liquids in hand baggage, and intrusive body scanners are just some of the obstacles travelers have to overcome.
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David Scowsill, President and CEO of WTTC says, “Ten years after 9/11, the sympathy of the world is rightly focused on the families who were impacted by this terrible tragedy. The enhanced security processes put in place post 9/11 were entirely appropriate as a short-term response to a very dramatic situation. Over the last ten years, however, the barriers to travel have become even greater, rather than diminishing through better use of technology and passenger profiling.”