A few months ago, I attended the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Global Summit in Dallas, which brought together industry leaders to discuss issues affecting the travel sector, from environmental, security, and geopolitical concerns to governmental policies. The travel and tourism industry accounts for nearly ten percent of the global gross domestic product, which makes it one of the most important in the world.
“This sector is growing at a higher rate than world GDP,” says WTTC president and CEO David Scowsill. “In an uncertain world driven by conflict, fear, climate change, and resource scarcity, it is our sector to which governments can look for economic certainty.” Scowsill, who also joined Virtuoso’s own recent meeting of industry executives in Cape Town, South Africa (read about that meeting on page 24), says tourism can be a “driver for peace,” and points to new research that directly links tourism and peaceful societies. While the threat of terrorism may tempt some people to pull the covers over their heads and stay put, it’s a timely reminder that travel is a force for good – and that your vacations create more than just memories.
This, our tenth annual Travel Dreams issue, is packed with inspiration to get out and see the world. Ove the years, tens of thousands of you have shared the destinations and travel experiences you dream about – as well as stories, photos, and videos of the incredible trips you’ve already taken. You’ll find the top ten trips of a lifetime as voted on by Virtuoso travelers, plus the top ten dream destinations, on page 86. Here’s to making more than memories this summer.