The coalition's work can help countries like Japan boost tourism numbers

Simpler visa facilitation and improved infrastructure are at the top of the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC) agenda. 

IATA is one of eight global bodies that make up the coalition, which enables the travel and tourism industry to speak with a united voice on key issues. 

Aviation and tourism depend on borders that are open to people and to trade

“Speaking with one voice is the most effective way to be heard clearly,” said IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s AGM. 

“Aviation and tourism depend on borders that are open to people and to trade. 

“But the current political rhetoric—denying the benefits of globalization and pointing to a future of protectionism and more restricted borders—is growing in force.

"And that could put limits on the broad benefits that that a sustainable travel and tourism sector generates. So we must make our point strongly.”

Discussing the travel industry’s role in facilitating economic growth, de Juniac highlighted Japan’s tourism targets. 

If their targets are achieved, tourism will account for $130 billion of Japan’s GDP

The country expects visitor numbers to grow from 24 million last year to 60 million in 2030.

“If their targets are achieved, tourism will account for $130 billion of Japan’s GDP,” he said.

“The biggest enablers of this phenomenal growth are at the top of the GTAC agenda—easier visa facilitation and infrastructure improvements. 

“These are critical for growth, as are the other GTAC items—environmental sustainability and investment in people.” 

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