Las Vegas to host WTTC 2011 summit

Las Vegas to host WTTC 2011 summit

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has selected Las Vegas as the host city for its 2011 Global Travel & Tourism Summit, following an endorsement from local tourism organisations.

Earlier the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCV) had voted to invest $1.5 million in the event, which is scheduled for May next year.

With heads of industry and government from around the world expected, the Aria Resort & Casino has been selected to host the prestigious event.

The resort forms the centrepiece of the $8.5 billion CityCenter complex, which was opened by MGM Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip in December 2009.

WTTC chief executive Jean-Claude Baumgarten told the Associated Press the group had selected Las Vegas in part because the city is symbolic of tourism in the United States.

“We cannot choose a better place than Las Vegas,” Mr Baumgarten explained.

“The whole economy, all of what we are seeing, all the impacts of travel and tourism on the economy, on jobs, on the future and investment make Las Vegas a better choice.”

Approximately 244,000 people are employed in the leisure and hospitality industry in Las Vegas - more than 30 per cent of Las Vegas’ total work force - according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

The so-called Sin City is famous for gambling as much as tourism.

“Our 10th Global Summit takes place next month in Beijing and we fully intend to make the most of the more than 12 months between now and the Las Vegas event to promote the importance of travel and tourism and also its wider impact on other sectors,” said Mr Baumgarten.

This year’s WTTC summit is scheduled to begin in Beijing on May 25th.

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US Travel Association

The United States recently established the US Travel Association, following a decision by president Barack Obama to coordinate tourism efforts on a national scale for the first time.

Following the decision, the WTTC and US Travel Association signed a memorandum of understanding, formally agreeing to share resources and to work closely together to promote the industry’s interests.

“With so many issues affecting both WTTC and US Travel I am pleased our two organisations - which share several of the same travel industry leaders as members - will work more co-operatively in sharing communications and research, as well as engaging more closely on future emergency preparedness issues to minimise the impact of future crises on Travel & Tourism,” said Roger Dow, the US association’s president.