The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Americas Summit has closed after three packed days in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Widely known for its annual Global Summit where the leaders of the global travel and tourism industry meet with their counterparts in government to set the agenda for the development of the sector, this had been the first time the council had agreed to facilitate a regional take on the issues.
Organized at the initiative of President Calderón of Mexico to coincide with his country’s hosting of the annual meeting of G20 heads of government, this was the most varied event ever staged by WTTC, with presenters ranging from government ministers and a head of state; to a Hollywood acting legend; to the world’s richest man; and from the CEOs of the world’s largest travel corporations; to 20-something, start-up entrepreneurs.
The summit was co-chaired by WTTC President and CEO David Scowsill and the Mexico Tourism Secretary, Gloria Guevara. The first day’s speakers included President Calderón; Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization; WTTC Chairman (and Chairman of the Executive Board of TUI AG), Michael Frenzel; film director, actor, and environmentalist Robert Redford; and the Mexican billionaire businessman and philanthropist, Carlos Slim.
In her closing address to the summit, Gloria Guevara said: “Over the last three days, this event has enabled us to see the real possibilities that as an industry we could start working together across the Americas region. I thank WTTC for bringing their first-ever regional summit to Mexico, and to the enormous contribution made by all the speakers and sponsors.”
Thanking Secretary Guevara, David Scowsill, summarizing the themes and achievements of the summit, said: “We are far too important an industry not to speak with one united voice. Over the last twenty years, WTTC has succeeded in bringing together a large part of the private sector – now we are embarking on an exciting trip together, where the private and public sectors can start meaningful co-operation that is befitting of an industry that can generate growth, jobs, prosperity and sustainability at both global and regional level, like no other industry on this planet can.”