In countries with foreign exchange controls (which are always evaded) every official figure on expenditure will be wrong. Third, international travel is bedeviled by astounding differences in the data of different countries.
While efforts are underway to bring uniformity to data collection and analysis worldwide, it will likely to be sometime before a consensus is reached on the scope and impact of the tourism industry. However at least two organisations are dedicated to the task of giving travel and tourism its due as the world’s largest industry. The Brussel based World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is a coalition of 65 chief executive officers from all sectors of the industry.
Its goal as stated in WTTC reports is “to convince governments of the enormous contribution of travel and tourism to national and world economic development, to promote expansion of travel and tourism markets in harmony with environment and to eliminate barriers to growth of the industry.” The “World Tourism Organization” (WTO), on the other hand, is an agency of the United Nations Development Programme WTO’s membership comprises 113 of the world’s government and boasts over 170 affiliate members from the travel and tourism industry. It is the only inter-governmental organization open to the operating sector. Its mission is the promotion and development of travel and tourism as a means of stimulating business and economic development and forecasting peace and understanding between nations.