Preview: WTTC’s Global Tourism Summit, Bangkok April 26-27, 2017
ETB Travel News will be present at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s 2017 Global Tourism Summit in Bangkok and I am delighted to be ETB‘s summit correspondent. I am arranging interviews with many of the key speakers and you will see these on ETB in the weeks to come. This annual gathering of the Tourism industry leaders is attracting the best and the brightest stars of global tourism.
Although the main theme of the summit is Transforming our World and tourism’s role in transforming the global economy, environment and society there are wide range of sub-themes which will addressed at the summit.
One major theme will focus on the growth of collaboration in tourism between various sectors of our industry. Providing a total tourism product involves collaboration between hoteliers, travel agents, airlines, coach tour operators and attractions, to name a few sectors. The WTTC has been an effective global organization in advocating the interests of the global tourism industry. It’s members are drawn from the leading companies from each sector in global tourism.
In recent years the WTTC‘s effectiveness as an advocacy body for global tourism has been strengthened through its collaboration with the UNWTO, IATA, PATA and other major global and transnational tourism associations. WTTC President, David Scowsill has successfully developed strong alliances with key global and transnational associations. All of these associations will attend and have a voice at the Bangkok summit. Dr. Taleb Rifat, Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization will be one of the keynote speakers.
Other key themes addressed at the summit will be sustainable tourism and ensuring that tourism is an active force is enhancing sustainability. There will be an in depth examination from some leading experts, including former British Prime Minister David Cameron about the influence of current events on tourism. This will include the impact of major political changes including Brexit and the Trump presidency on global tourism. Speakers will update technological changes in global tourism and examine the challenges many tourism destinations and businesses face from security threats. The summit will address the many ethical challenges which tourism has a role in addressing, including the elimination of hunger, poverty and environmental degradation.
As the conference is being held in Bangkok for the first time, there will be considerable emphasis on Asia and especially ASEAN countries as the world’s fastest growing tourism generating and destination region. The Tourism Authority of Thailand will be the main sponsor. All 800 plus delegates will experience the hospitality for which Thailand is world renowned.
Thailand has demonstrated incredible tourism growth and resilience in the face of multiple, challenges from acts of man and acts if nature. In 2016 it attracted over 32.5 million international visitors, an 8% growth over 2015. Thailand is the most visited country in SE Asia. As delegates will find, Thailand has a lot to teach global tourism leaders about the core ingredients which make a successful tourism destination.