Visa rules hindering global travel: TripAdvisor CEO

TripAdvisor founder and CEO Stephen Kaufer has identified bureaucratic issues such as visas and taxes as the biggest barrier facing the travel industry.In an address to this month’s World Travel and Tourism Council summit in Bangkok, Kaufer said people had a great desire to travel and could usually afford to.

“The biggest opportunity in front of us all is to make it that much easier to actually go international. To make it simpler in terms of the forms, the visas, the government taxes and fees that kind of get in the way of people moving around,” he said.

“If through our efforts the governments could foster and help as opposed to put up some barriers, I think that would truly help grow the travel industry.”

However, with the possibility of terrorism an increasing concern worldwide, Kaufer agreed that security was on the mind of a traveller.

“Travellers want to feel safe, of course, wherever they are going, but what we see on TripAdvisor is that while there may be security instances across the globe, it doesn’t, at the end of the day, affect how most people travel,” Kaufer said.

“It changes their destination, and that can be very traumatic and very hard for individual regions, but the traveller … does get back on the road.”