London. Yesterday, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) brought together global industry leaders at its panel hosted at the World Travel Market (#WTMLDN) taking place at Excel from 5-7 November 2018. WTTC’s session, ‘Social Contract: Expired’, focused on how the industry can continue to drive growth, integration and prosperity in a climate of increasing isolationism and protectionism.
Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC, gave opening remarks emphasising the important relationship that the public and private sector has in strengthening the perception of Travel & Tourism globally.
“Today we look to the leaders of our industry who can share best practices for competitiveness and regional integration. These discussions are critical to the ongoing collaboration and development across our sector, and we welcome the opportunity to bring together these voices.”
Echoing this sentiment, H.E. Elena Kountoura, Minister of Tourism, Greece, articulated how tourism is the original export product, and growth must be supported by a broader strategy that is friendly to business and investors.
“Travel & Tourism has rolled out the strongest welcome mat all over the world,” commented WTTC Member Ninan Chacko, CEO, Travel Leaders Group. In a policy environment that is increasingly protectionist, Travel & Tourism instead cultivates understanding and optimism across borders. To continue to grow as an industry, safety and security must be prioritised,” affirmed Dan Richards, CEO, Global Rescue.
Panellists articulated examples of best practice for successful growth. H.E. Rania Al-Mashat Minister of Tourism Egypt, shared details of the Egypt Tourism Reform Programme through which the government is working to promote a culture of homegrown tourism through shared ownership.
Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, spoke to the benefits of engaging locals highlighting that “the most beautiful thing about the Emirates is the Emiratis themselves.”
Guevara concluded, “The world is realising the value of Travel & Tourism and the economic opportunities it provides. I am delighted to have been joined on stage by H.E. Nikolina Angelkova, Bulgaria’s first Minister of Tourism, who exemplifies how governments are encouraging the development of our sector.
“Following today’s discussion, it is clear that public-private-community partnerships are at the heart of Travel & Tourism and must be meaningfully engaged in order to maximise these growth opportunities.”