UK visa changes could 'boost travel industry'

20 Mar 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The economic contribution made by the travel and tourism industry could be increased by making adaptations to the UK visa system, if recent remarks from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) are anything to go by.

The WTTC found that the industry contributed 9.5 per cent to the global economy in 2013. This marked the fourth consecutive year of increases in contributions, with yet further increases predicted for 2014.

However, difficulties in accessing visas for the UK and other countries could be hampering this growth. The UN World Tourism Organisation and the WTTC found in 2012 that improving visa processes could generate as much as $206 billion extra in tourism receipts around the work, creating over 5 million jobs by 2015 in the G20 countries.

David Scowill, president and chief executive of the council, commented: “Some countries have taken huge positive strides with visa facilitation over the past few years. But many countries’ economic contribution from Travel & Tourism is still being held back, particularly due to restrictive visa policies.”

The strength of the sector makes it particularly important to start focusing on. According to the WTTC Economic Impact Report for last year, the travel and tourism industry is outperforming the wider economy, with growth of three per cent recorded for 2013, comparing favourably to the two per cent general economic growth for the year.