WTTC Summit 2011 – a mouth-watering line-up of top travel speakers

WTTC Summit 2011 – a mouth-watering line-up of top travel speakers

Speakers and moderators of the highest calibre are set to take part in WTTC’s 11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas. Highlights include Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Expedia; Ted Turner; Christopher Rodrigues of Visit Britain; Jeff Clarke, President & CEO, Travelport; Mark Frissora, Chairman & CEO, Hertz; Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman, Jumeirah Group
The theme of this year’s event will be “Programme for Powering Global Growth” and includes a top line-up of speakers drawn from around the world and from many different industries and sectors.

Ted Turner will lend his wealth of experience to mastering our communications challenges ahead of our industry. He is being joined by the leaders of major brands at the centre of, or influencing, tourism developments in recent years.
The audience of senior delegates will discuss the mindset change required to absorb such impending growth. It will explore the investment required, the barriers that need to be removed, and the stimulus needed. Government leaders will be asked what it takes to “break through the brick wall”.

The speakers and the seniority of the delegates combined will provide fascinating and informative insights into the power and potential of Travel & Tourism to create jobs, increase exports and stimulate investment.

As the world emerges from one of the most economically challenging times in history, it is clear that the past three years have seen significant changes to the global political and economic landscape.

Shifting economic power between the developed West and emerging East, a rise in populist politics and social stresses in a number of countries, are coupled with increasing competition for resources, new security challenges and rising tensions from trade. In this new world, where tough questions are being asked about the systems in place for global governance and business, the Travel & Tourism industry needs to take the lead in the formation of new ways of thinking and new ways of bringing people together – a new mindset to power global growth.

This opening session will ask what that new mindset might look like, how countries and companies around the world are already adopting new approaches to planning, growth, social equity and environmental management and how this is reflected in Travel & Tourism. We will then take an in-depth look at the USA and how new approaches to tourism development and marketing are challenging existing visa, security and taxation policies so that Travel & Tourism can stimulate the jobs and exports so important for the country’s economic well-being.

Investing in Growth
The travel industry has the potential to stimulate capital investment around the world. In 2011, over US$652.4 billion is expected to be invested in Travel & Tourism, accounting for some 4.5% of total global investment. However, a lack of understanding by the investment community of the opportunities offered by the sector is compounded by government red-tape and protectionism, barriers to the free flow of capital, inconsistent and delayed planning decisions, and an unclear regulatory framework, which means that Travel & Tourism is often unable to leverage the right kind of investment at the right time.

Building on the discussions around new ‘New Global Mindsets’, this session will spotlight the issues surrounding tourism investment and explore how the industry, investors and regulators can come together to facilitate the investment which underpins the success of Travel & Tourism and its economic contribution.

The Business of Doing Business
Business travel accounts for a quarter of global Travel & Tourism spending and plays a crucial role in the financial viability of many parts of the industry. It is also central to the profit margins of many corporations across all sectors. As such, its contribution to economic growth and prosperity is substantial. However, business travel has been hard hit by the recession as companies cut back their travel budgets. At the same time, the sector is facing a growing challenge from technology based alternatives such as video-conferencing and web-based meeting technology.

New research commissioned by WTTC to explore the links between business travel, corporate profits and the wider economy will be released, emphasising the role of business travel in powering global growth. Keynote Speaker Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive, Virgin Atlantic Airways & Chairman,

High-Speed Growth in the Digital Lane
The first day will climax with an interview with Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Expedia, examining the latest trends and innovations in digital and mobile technologies, online travel and social networking, and look at how the balance between OTAs and suppliers is changing.

The global online travel segment, valued at nearly $256 billion in 2010, represents 30% of the total travel market. By 2012 one third of the world’s travel sales will be made online. And online travel is no longer the domain of wealthy nations. The rapid rise of mobile connectivity in emerging markets means that it is now a worldwide phenomenon. At the same time, social networking has fundamentally changed tourism marketing and distribution. The opportunities for a growing industry such as Travel & Tourism are clear.

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The WTTC Global Travel & Tourism Summit takes palce at the Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, 17-19 May 20011. To find out more visit www.globaltraveltourism.com