The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) was conceptualized in the early 1980s when a group of CEOs came to the realization that although Travel & Tourism was the largest service industry in the world and the biggest provider of jobs, nobody knew it. There was no consolidated data or voice for the industry to give the message to elected official and policy makers.
WTTC was established in 1990 and today the Council is positioned as the global business leaders forum for Travel & Tourism, comprising the Chairmen and Chief Executives of 100 of the world s foremost organizations, representing all regions and sectors of the industry; a membership list is attached.
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the forum for business leaders in the Travel & Tourism industry. WTTC works to raise awareness of Travel & Tourism as one of the world's largest industries, supporting 260 million jobs and generating 9 per cent of world GDP.
WTTC advocates partnership between the public and private sectors, delivering results that match the needs of economies, local and regional authorities and local communities with those of business, based on:
Governments recognising Travel & Tourism as a top priority
Business balancing economics with people, culture and environment
A shared pursuit of long-term growth and prosperity
The Council regularly sets Strategic Priorities with a view to identifying those issues which most impede the operation or development of the sector. Details of the issues on which the World Travel & Tourism Council is currently campaigning can be reached through the left-hand navigational menu.
And WTTC's success in generating a climate of understanding of the importance of Travel & Tourism is based on its:
high quality and authoritative research into the facts about Travel & Tourism, and into the issues affecting the sector;
ability to harness the unrivalled the knowledge and experience of the Council Members, who number the most prominent executives in the industry;
willingness to collaborate with other leading industry bodies in pursuit of mutual aims;
visible, timely and newsworthy programme of communications - including its famous Summit meetings - to inform discussions between the Travel & Tourism industry, governments, and the community at large.
When the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) was established in 1990, the founding Members decided that the quantification of Travel & Tourism's impact on world and national economies would be the most important contribution they could make to achieve their goal of raising awareness among policy leaders and decision-makers of Travel & Tourism's economic contribution and its potential for creating wealth and employment around the world. The subsequent 19 years of investment in research made a significant contribution to the development of the new international standard for Tourism Satellite Accounting (TSA) research, adopted in 2001 by the United Nations Statistical Commission.  WTTC has also developed a Crisis Impact Forecasting Model to assess the potential impact of a crisis on the industry within 48 hours. It was put into place following the crises of the London and Egypt bombings in 2005.
TSA Commissioned Reports
Over the years, WTTC and its research partner, UK-based Oxford Economics (OE), have endeavoured to create a system of Tourism Satellite Accounting research, which now covers 181 economies around the world. Using a combination of macro-economic research and forecasts, national accounting data/information, Travel & Tourism variables and econometric modelling, WTTC/OE have produced a system of research covering many concepts of Travel & Tourism 'Demand', from personal consumption to business purchases, capital investment, government spending and exports. This information is then translated into economic concepts of production, such as gross domestic product (GDP) and employment, which can be compared with other industries and the economy as a whole to provide statistical information that can assist in policy- and business decision-making. Today, WTTC produces annual TSA forecasts for 181 countries and 13 regions and carries out commissioned TSA reports for a growing number of countries, regions, and cities each year..
WTTC has established two Regional Initiatives in India and China and is now working more extensively in China. Due to a consensus from Members of the Council, a Middle East Chapter has been founded to work together on region-specific issues, and similarly in Europe, an EU Steering Committee has been meeting regularly to drive WTTC's lobbying in Brussels. The purpose of these initiatives is to bring together key players from across the region to work together to accelerate industry growth.
Policy Reports and Initiatives
The Council works with and consults with its Members to produce policy papers covering a wide variety of topical issues facing the industry. These papers are produced with the aim of presenting the Council's collective stance and putting forward guidelines on how to best meet challenges or optimise opportunities. WTTC's Policy statements can be region-specific or globally applicable, setting out strategies for areas of business ranging from corporate social responsibility to tackling infrastructure, human resources, and climate change. WTTC also launched the Green Globe environmental awareness programme which became an autonomous organization in 1998.
Global Travel & Tourism Summit
The Global Travel & Tourism Summit is an annual WTTC gathering for both public and private sector leaders of travel and tourism. The Summit aims to facilitate meaningful dialogue among the world's Travel & Tourism industry and government leaders. Past locations of the Summit include Vilamoura, Doha, New Delhi, Washington D.C., Lisbon, and Dubai. The 9th Global Travel & Tourism Summit took place from 14-16 May 2009 in Florian polis, Brazil.
Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards were set up in 1989 by the Federation of Tour Operators to encourage action from all sectors of the industry to protect the environment. WTTC took over the Awards in 2004. Awarded annually, they recognise and promote the world's leading examples of best practice in responsible tourism development across four categories:
Destination Stewardship Award, Conservation Award, Community Benefit Award, Global Tourism Business Award
Winners and finalists are taking the stage in a Awards special session during WTTC's Global Travel & Tourism Summit.