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Tourism key for jobs and exports says President of Portugal accepting the UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter on Travel and Tourism

Tourism key for jobs and exports says President of Portugal accepting the UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter on Travel and Tourism ( The President of Portugal, Anibal Cavaco Silva, has highlighted the importance of tourism to the country’s jobs and exports on the occasion of the presentation of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)/World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC) Open Letter on Travel and Tourism which aims to rally support for tourism among world leaders.

Meeting UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, and WTTC President and CEO, David Scowsill, President Cavaco Silva recalled that tourism directly represents 9% of Portugal’s GDP and 8% of the workforce.

“Tourism is very important for jobs and exports in Portugal,” said President Cavaco Silva, while highlighting the capacity the sector has in reducing poverty around the world and welcoming the work of the United Nations through UNWTO in this regard. The President said it was central to “support increasing mobility around the globe as this is critical not only to the tourism sector, but also to the wellbeing of people as the tourism sector is of growing importance to many countries.”

“In these challenging times for many countries in Europe, tourism can be part of the solution not only for the jobs and the growth the sector generates directly, but also due to the immense linkages tourism has with many other sectors of the economy to which it brings extra demand,” said Mr. Rifai.

WTTC President&CEO, David Scowsill, said: “Few countries have a greater dependence on travel and tourism than Portugal. During 2012, our industry will sustain directly and indirectly almost 18% of all jobs and contribute 15% of Portugal's GDP. There is a large private sector committed to economic growth and job creation, which is committed to work with the government to stimulate further growth in these difficult economic times. The President understands the huge economic and social contribution that the industry makes to the Portuguese economy, and reflected this in his comments in our meeting.”

Also attending the meeting were Mr. Pedro Costa Ferreira, President of the Portuguese Association of Travel Agents; Mr. Andre Jordan, President of the Andre Jordan Group, member of WTTC; Mr. Fernando Pinto, President of TAP Portugal, member of WTTC; Mr. Manuel Fernando Espirito Santo, President of Rioforte, member of WTTC.

MEDIA CONTACT: Principal Media Officer, Marcelo Risi, Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60, Email: , Web: ; UNWTO Communications Program, Tel: +34 91-567-8100, Fax: +34 91-567-8218, Email:

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