Analytical Note, November 2004

Issues of Interest to LDCs in the WTO Services Negotiations – Series No. 1: Tourism and Travel-Related Services.

The specific goal of this primer on the tourism and travel-related services sector (hereinafter referred to as “tourism services”) is to provide LDCs with both basic information pertaining to economic activity of the sector and insights of the GATS negotiations related to the sector.

By reviewing not only the economic but also social, regulatory and developmental elements pertaining to the tourism sector, this primer aims to aid LDCs with assessing their domestic situation in tourism services and to develop their negotiating positions accordingly.

After the introduction, the second part of this paper discusses the economic relevance of tourism and its special significance to LDCs. The third part highlights the main economic and social issues relating to tourism. The fourth part focuses on GATS rules for the tourism sector. The fifth part summarises the Uruguay Round commitments on the tourism sector by LDCs and their markets of interests, i.e. Quad Members. Part VI summaries the initial negotiating proposals made by developing country Members and the initial offers made by the markets of interests for LDCs. This part also analyses the reasons for the limited participation of LDCs in the negotiating process and suggests possible ways for improvements.

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