WTTC summit seeks honest exchanges

11th Mar 2008

Travel & Tourism industry leaders from around the world will converge on Dubai in April for some frank exchanges on realising their potential at the WTTC Summit.But this is no sales conference or marketing seminar. The agenda is a rigorous assessment of the impact Travel & Tourism has had on the world we live in, and of how far the Travel & Tourism sector is meeting its responsibilities as a global citizen.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today announced the themes and speakers for this discussion of how to unlock Travel & Tourism’s full potential. The Summit will be the travel industries’ most significant public/ private partnership comprising the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Emirates Group, Jumeirah Group and Nakheel.

The many strengths of the sector are well-known and well-documented. It creates jobs, it boosts economic and social development, it nurtures the environment and preserves culture - and it provides pleasure to hundreds of millions of customers. Travel & Tourism is a human right that is of increasing significance to growing numbers of the world’s citizens - and is going to remain that way.

At the same time, the world is changing rapidly around Travel & Tourism. The demand for its products and the flow of its customers is constantly shifting. Technology, geopolitics and sustainability pose new challenges every day. And new possibilities emerge from evolving relationships between the private and public sector, and between Travel & Tourism and the investment community.

It is to make sure that the sector’s own strategies are accurately tuned to changing needs that Travel & Tourism industry leaders from across the world will be present at the Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Dubai from April 20 to 22. Travel & Tourism industry leaders will be joined by senior figures from governments and international agencies, and by innovators from other industries who have achieved world fame for the way in which they have realised their potential.


In this high-level forum, Travel & Tourism executives will take a fresh and candid look at their responsibilities for their business, and for their contribution to the world around them. Leaders of the sector have long recognised their role as world citizens and are now equally determined to share what they are doing to make a difference.

Dubai is the perfect setting for such a broad-ranging review. Like the Travel & Tourism sector itself, it is poised at the intersection of hemispheres and cultures, balancing long tradition with an audacious future. And it provides a striking example of the power of successful public-private partnership.

WTTC President Jean-Claude Baumgarten said “The Travel & Tourism industry fulfils the aspirations of millions of world citizens who want to travel, to broaden their horizons and encounter different cultures. The leaders that will gather at this year’s Summit are at the very heart of the local challenges on a global scale, as well as being the potential drivers of successful development at all levels of the economy.” He added “the Summit aims to bring together these leaders to create action that will advance responsible Travel & Tourism growth and unlock the full potential of our industry to play a role in driving positive change across the world.”

Contributors to the discussion include:

  * HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airlines & Group
  * HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority
  * Sultan bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, Nakheel Saeed Al Muntafiq, Executive Chairman, Tatweer
  * The Honourable Onkokame Kitso Mokaila, Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Botswana
  * Geoffrey Kent, Chairman, World Travel & Tourism Council, Chairman & CEO, Abercrombie & Kent
  * Jean-Claude Baumgarten, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council
  * JW Marriott, Jr, Chairman and CEO, Marriott International, Inc
  * Joe Sita, CEO, Nakheel Hotels
  * Stephen P Holmes, Chairman, President & CEO, Wyndham Worldwide
  * Christopher Dickey, Paris Bureau Chief/Middle East Regional Editor, Newsweek
  * Arthur de Haast, Global CEO, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels
  * Dara Khosrowshahi, President & CEO, Expedia Inc
  * Christopher Rodrigues CBE, Chairman, VisitBritain
  * Philippe Bourguignon, Vice Chairman Revolution Places LLC, CEO Revolution Places Development
  * Stevan Porter, President, The Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group plc
  * Rob Webb QC, General Counsel, British Airways
  * Alan Parker, CEO, Whitbread plc
  * Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chair & CEO, Carlson
  * Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman, Jumeirah Group
  * Sonu Shivdasani, Chairman and CEO, Six Senses Resorts & Spas
  * Eric Anderson, President & CEO, Space Adventures
  * Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer, Honda Racing F1 Team
  * Bill Reinert, Head of USA Advanced Technologies Group, Toyota
  * Professor Norbert Walter, CFO, Deutsche Bank


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