What is the T.20 Initiative?

The T20 is a members-driven initiative with the full support of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Against the background of the enhanced international cooperation which emerged from the 2008-2009 global economic crisis, there was an opportunity for tourism ministers to speak in a coordinated manner on a number of global issues.

The initiative emerged in response to the Roadmap for Recovery developed by the UNWTO. The Roadmap for Recovery, which was approved in October 2009 at the UNWTO’s General Assembly, is a manifesto on how tourism and travel, one of the world’s biggest sources of jobs and export earnings, can be a primary vehicle for job creation, enhanced development, trade promotion, economic recovery and the transformation towards a greener economy.

The 1st T20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in South Africa (23-24 February 2010) followed an informal gathering of the T20 countries held in Kazakhstan in 2009 during the UNWTO General Assembly, to discuss tourism’s valuable contribution to the economic stimuli required for the global economy’s recovery and the longer-term ‘green’ transformation.

Other meetings followed hosted by the countries chairing the G20. Topics discussed included:

The T20 has not been formally linked to the G20 or its institutional structure, until 2019, when for the first time, the G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting has been included in the calendar of G20’s Official Ministerial Meetings. There has been a strong synergy between the T20 and G20 agendas, not least on the economic recovery, employment, the green economy, trade and investment, and development.



  • Position tourism as a driver of economic, social and environmental change.
  • Explore the potential for tourism and travel to support the economic recovery as well as longer term transformation to a green economy.
  • Better articulate and communicate the economic and development case for tourism.
  • Mainstream travel and tourism sector’s voice in the global agenda by building a more effective voice for the tourism sector.
  • Mobilise a collective effort among tourism ministers towards building a sensible tourism policy framework that will help influence country-level, as well as international economic and development policies.



Ministers of Tourism of the G20 countries

Republic of Korea
Republic of South Africa
Saudi Arabia
United Kingdom
United States of America
European Union
Spain (Permanent invitee)



Tourism in the G-20 Economy

√        An estimated 5% of the GDP and 6% of jobs.

√        68% share of the world’s international tourist arrivals (636 million, 2010).

√        67% share of the world’s international tourism earnings, including passenger transport (US$ 751 billion, 2010).

√        25% of the G20 total exports of services (2010)



Useful Links

Roadmap for Recovery: Progress of Implementation by T.20 countries (as of March 2012)