Leading economist Hernando de Soto and chef Gaston Acurio have been confirmed as two of the key note speakers at the World Travel & Tourism Council 2014 Americas Summit.
The event will take place in Lima, Peru, September 10th-11th.
Over the course of a day and a half, through a series of keynotes, panel sessions and interviews, tourism leaders and government ministers from across South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America are coming together with top executives from the public and private sectors, NGOs, and opinion-formers from academia and the media to discuss the most pressing questions facing the industry.
The aim is to identify what needs to be done now to ensure the long term sustainable future of the sector.
Other speakers at the Summit include Darren Huston, president, Priceline Group, Vinícius Lages, minister of tourism, Brazil, and John Perrottet, global lead - tourism, investment climate for industry, World Bank.
Announcing the programme - entitled ‘Facing Challenges - Finding Opportunities’ – WTTC president David Scowsill described tourism in the Americas as being at a critical moment.
He explained: “As countries seek to diversify their economies and become more competitive, tourism is emerging as a key sector in the Americas for enhancing trade linkages, stimulating exports, attracting investment, and creating jobs.
“A strong internal market, economic recovery in the USA and Europe, and the growth of new markets in Asia now offer massive opportunities.
“The Summit will bring together global and regional leaders in tourism to showcase the opportunities and shape the future sustainable growth of the sector, a sector which has the potential to be far more important for the economies of the region.”
He continued; “There is a lot to talk about and some outstanding speakers to help us address the biggest global issues affecting the sector in the Americas: how can the combined strengths of the sector come together now to leverage more sustainable growth for the region?
“While some destinations prosper, others struggle. How can collaboration solve problems that market forces alone cannot address? How can competitiveness be strengthened through cooperation? And how can the Americas keep up with growing destinations in Asia?”
WTTC’s Economic Impact 2014 research shows that tourism already accounts for US$286 billion in visitor exports, contributes 8.5 per cent to the economy and supports one in 11 jobs in the Americas.
The agenda of the Americas Summit will focus not only on the traditional intra-regional flows of business in the Americas but also on the recovery of the inbound market, fuelled by the growth of BRIC nations.
Presentations of best practice from inside and outside the region will be combined with lively debates around future trends and current policies.
Hosted by the Peru Ministry of Foreign Trade & Tourism, the Americas Summit will be held at the Westin Hotel, Lima.