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Wednesday, 08 April, 2015, 15 : 00 PM [IST]

WTTC Global Summit 2015 to deliberate on ‘Disruption & Reinvention’ in the Industry

The 15th edition of WTTC Global Summit will see delegates delve into the current challenges plaguing the travel & tourism industry worldwide. After a gap of seven years, the Summit is being held in a European nation, Spain. TravelBiz Monitor provides a line-up of the event
David ScowsillThe World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) will host its 15th annual Global Summit in Madrid, Spain on April 15 and 16, 2015. Cohosted by Comunidad de Madrid and Madrid City Hall, in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Tourism, the Summit will be held in Madrid’s largest conference venue, IFEMA. The theme for the Summit is ‘Disruption & Reinvention’.

David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said, “This year’s Global Summit will explore the state of travel & tourism around the world and where reinvention is necessary to maintain and grow market share”.

According to WTTC data, the contribution of the industry to Spain’s overall economy is USD 161 billion – the seventh highest of any country and supports 2.7 million jobs. Similarly, UNWTO ranks Spain second in international tourism receipts, second to the US and third in terms of international arrivals.

Scowsill said, “The Summit will be held in Europe for the first time since 2007, providing the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the economic and social importance of travel & tourism to consumers and governments in Europe and across the world. Spain is one of the largest travel & tourism economies in the world and hosting the Global Summit will enable its capital to showcase its tourism assets.”

Industry Deliberations
José Manuel Barroso, former President, European Commission, will discuss Europe’s economic and political past, present and future and how travel & tourism stands as Europe enters a new political environment. Up to 1,000 delegates from across the world, including 300 chief executives, government ministers, and thought leaders will be present at the Summit.

Ana Botín, Executive Chairman, Santander Bank; Luis Gallego, CEO, Iberia; Luis Maroto, President, Amadeus; Federico González Tejera, CEO, NH Hotel Group; Petra Nemcova, philanthropist; and Richard Leakey, anthropologist and conservationist, will be attending the Summit.

Leaders and experts will discuss the industry’s global growth and the characteristics of tourism in the future. Thought leaders will give their perspective on some of the disruptive forces challenging the sector, and how the sector can respond to them. Tourism development in Spain will also be explored, with a focus on Madrid’s emergence as a hub linking Spain to the rest of the world.

Temel Kotil, CEO, Turkish Airlines; James Hogan, CEO, Etihad Airways; Michael O’Leary, CEO, Ryanair; Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Expedia; CC Zhuang, CEO, Qunar; Chris Nassetta, CEO, Hilton; Richard Solomons, CEO, IHG; and Chip Conley, Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, Airbnb, will be the speakers at the Summit.

Ana BotellaDestination Madrid
The Spanish Ministry of Tourism, Comunidad de Madrid, and Madrid’s City Hall say the hosting of the global event in Madrid has great significance for the city and Spain. Ana Botella, Mayor, Madrid, has declared that “the celebration in the capital of the main event of the WTTC is an extraordinary way to celebrate the good momentum that our tourist sector is experiencing; and corroborates the growth in the number of visitors to the city of Madrid during last year, with more than 8.3 million tourists”.

“This annual appointment, which is celebrated for the first time in our country, will contribute to establish Madrid as a destination in the minds of nearly 1,000 experts in the travel industry,” said Botella.

For Ana Isabel Mariño, Regional Minister for Employment, Tourism and Culture of Comunidad de Madrid, the Summit gives the region “a unique opportunity to reinforce our status as a first category destination in an increasingly globalised touristic environment, especially in the emerging markets”.

Fiona Jeffery OBETourism for Tomorrow Awards
The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are aimed at recognising best practices in Sustainable Tourism, based on the principles of environmentfriendly operations; support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage; and direct benefits to the social and economic well-being of local people in travel destinations around the world. The winners will be announced on the second day of the Summit.

Community Award Finalists:
• Fenyan Ecolodge, Jordan
• Grootbos Nature Reserve, South Africa
• Reality Tours & Travel, India

Destination Award Finalists:
• Ljubljana, Slovenia
• Northeast and Yilan Coast, Taiwan
• Sozopol, Bulgaria

Environment Award Finalists:
• Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve, Guatemala
• Rivers Fiji, Fiji
• Soneva Group, Maldives and Thailand

Innovation Award Finalists:
• ABTA Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism, United Kingdom
• RED Sustainable Travel, Mexico
• TripAdvisor GreenLeaders, USA

People Award Finalists:
• Confortel, Spain
• Global Travel & Tourism Partnership, USA
• Mountain Shepherds Initiative, India

The Winner Selection Committee, chaired by Fiona Jeffery OBE, includes Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director & Trustee, Forum for the Future; Hugh Riley, Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism Organization; Mandip Singh Soin FRGS, Founder & Managing Director, Ibex Expeditions Pvt Ltd; and Graham Miller, Awards Lead Judge, Professor of Sustainability in Business and Head of School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, The University of Surrey
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