Posted September. 11, 2013 06:55,
"Working in 25 countries since my retirement, I have realized how important the tourism industry is to the development of a nations economy. The reason is that the tourism industry has major impact on accelerating the opening of a countrys economy and on creation of jobs."
This is some of the remarks former British Prime Minister Tony Blair made as a special invited speaker at the opening ceremony of the World Travel and Tourism Council general assembly that took place at Lotte Hotel in central Seoul on Tuesday. Blair stressed, The tourism industry is one of major growth engines for a national economy. He has been stressing the importance of creative industry ever since his inauguration as the British prime minister in 1997.
Blair pointed out that many countries fail to recognize the importance of the travel and tourism industry. The travel and tourism industry contributes not only to economic and cultural prosperity but also to mutual understanding between countries and world peace, Blair said. WTTC should take the lead and communicate with governments the results of various studies that suggest tourism can contribute to economic development. In a video message presented at the opening ceremony of the event, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said the tourism industry would make many people prosperous by creating new economic opportunities and jobs.
It is the first time that the WTTC, known as the tourism sector equivalent of the Davos Forum, has convened in Seoul. Participants at the general assembly said in unison that it is testament to the fact that Asia and Korea have emerged as important places in the global tourism industry. David Scowsill, head of WTTC, said "Korea is the worlds 11th largest tourism country, and has the fastest growing tourism sector in Asia," adding, Korea is more than eligible as the host to the Asian general assembly of WTTC.
The WTTC general assembly continues through Wednesday under the theme, Asia, core of the worlds travel and tourism industry. The event brings together more than 400 people, including CEOs of global air carriers and hotels, and tourism ministers from Asian countries.