February'22 Message from the CEO

Daniela Otero

CEO, Skål International

Tourism 2022, the year of recovery.

The year 2022 has started with great optimism throughout the tourism industry.

If economies continue to open up, according to data from Oxford Economics, the Travel & Tourism industry's contribution to the global economy could reach $8.6 trillion this year.

Furthermore, if vaccine rollout continues apace this year, and international travel restrictions are eased around the world, the sector could create 58 million jobs in 2022, reaching over 330 million.

The organisations that work together and aligned will continue to urge governments to simplify restrictions and allow international travel. The use of digital solutions that enable travellers to demonstrate their health status quickly, easily and safely are essential for this.

Likewise, the recent United Nations report on the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP Report) highlights the important role that tourism will play in the recovery of national economies and global trade.

Drawing on data from the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on international tourist arrivals and tourism revenue to illustrate how the impact of the pandemic has been felt beyond the sector itself, this report underlines the importance of the tourism industry to the world economy and, in particular, for developing economies, including small developing island states.

The tourism industry has to unleash its full potential to face challenges such as the fight against climate change, digitalisation or the development of an inclusive and sustainable model.

The prospects for 2022 are promising, but we must continue working on greater public-private collaboration. Tourism must be at the heart of economic policies and the most effective collaboration must be that of a transfer of private knowledge to the public ecosystem.

It is also essential to develop a fiscal and regulatory framework that encourages the growth of companies, with improvements in their competitiveness and size.

Last but not least, we must focus on people, on human capital. The tourism industry today has a problem attracting talent. So much so that some destinations are already working on measures to provide companies with greater flexibility to attract more young talent.

In general terms, 2022 is once again presented as a year of challenges, but with some specific keys detected during this time of pandemic, based on technology, sustainability and people.

As Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, recently said: "The tourism sector can provide decent jobs and help build resilient, sustainable, gender-equal and inclusive economies and societies that benefit everyone".

Let's make this possible.

Daniela Otero

CEO, Skål International