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Case Studies World Travel & Tourism Council

How the World Travel & Tourism Council Gained Insight on the Tourism of Tomorrow


For over 20 years, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has served as a forum for the leaders of one hundred of the world’s largest Travel & Tourism companies.

Since then, it has been raising awareness of travel and tourism as one of the world’s largest industries, supporting 277 million jobs and generating 9.8 per cent of world GDP.

“SustainAbility’s work was enormously helpful in consolidating our thinking. Development of the Tourism for Tomorrow vision was a vital first step that has underpinned a lot of activities we have developed since then.”

Olivia Ruggles-Brise, Director Policy & Research

A membership organisation, WTTC has three strategic priorities: expanding the freedom for people to travel across borders; ensuring the business environment is conducive to growth for travel and tourism; and ensuring this growth is sustainable from an economic, social, and environmental point of view.

Realising the definition of success for business was changing, WTTC was keen to know more about key sustainability trends and their affect on the travel and tourism industry. It also wanted to understand what role they might play, as a membership organisation, in assisting and inspiring the industry to show leadership in sustainability.


Our analysis, which took the form of detailed desk research and interviews with a wide group of key opinion formers, identified four drivers of transformation for the travel and tourism industry: Global Interconnectedness, Demographic Shifts, Eco-limits and Socioeconomic Development & Wellbeing.

This insight was used as the basis of WTTC’s ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’, a holistic and integrated framework for the organisation’s sustainability initiatives and programmes and the first time the WTTC had generated a common position on sustainability for its members.

Launched in 2013, ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’ called for a step change in how travel and tourism businesses approach the act of balancing ‘people, planet and profits’, and urged its members to ‘be accountable, show leadership, invest, and collaborate’.




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