Some 500 tourism leaders are meeting in Sendai to discuss and debate some major issues facing the industry, during the World Travel & Tourism Council’s 12th Global Summit.
The Global Summit is the pre-eminent event in the global travel calendar each year and is attended by industry and government leaders from around the world.
As such, the summit offers an unparalleled platform for speakers from within and beyond our industry to share their views with an international audience of prominent business, financial, political and media leaders.
This year’s Global Summit will tackle some of the biggest questions in the industry with the overall theme of ‘Leading a Dynamic Industry through Turbulent Times’.
WTTC president, David Scowsill, said: “The travel and tourism industry is in a unique position to power sustainable growth.
“It has been a turbulent twelve months including unrest in Africa and the Middle East, impacting on traveller patterns and, last year’s devastating earthquake in Japan.
“Now it is more important than ever for us to discuss on how to ‘Lead a Dynamic Industry through such turbulent times’ and restore its economic power globally.
“This year’s Global Summit aims to inform the tourism industry on how this can be achieved globally.”
Sessions include: Japan: Where Now Where Next; Our Rapidly Changing World; Airlines: Their Role & Ever-Changing Nature; Our Story: Speaking with one Voice; Understanding Tomorrow’s Consumers; and Tourism for Tomorrow.
High-level industry leaders representing every sector of the global tourism industry will participate in speaker sessions, interviews and panel debates. Some of the speakers are:
Atsutoshi Nishida, chairman of Japan Host Committee; chairman & chief executive, Japan Travel & Tourism Association; chairman of the board, Toshiba Corporation.
Chen Rong, chief executive, China International Travel Service.
Christopher Nassetta, president & chief executive, Hilton Worldwide.
Fujio Cho, chairman of the board, Toyota Motor Corporation.
Gordon Wilson, president & chief executive, Travelport.
James Hogan, chief executive of Etihad Airways.
Kaori Enjoji, Tokyo Bureau Chief, CNBC.
Nick Ross, presenter, BBC.
Marthinus van Schalkwyk, minister of tourism, South Africa.
Mutsutake Otsuka, vice chairman of Japan Host Committee; vice chairman & chairman of Committee on Tourism, Keidanren.
Willie Walsh, chief executive, International Airlines Group.
Shinichiro Ito, chief executive, All Nippon Airways.
Siza Mzimela, chief executive, South African Airways.
Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the UNWTO.
Najib Mohamed Balala, minister for tourism, Kenya.
Scowsill continued: “Having the Global Summit in Sendai sends a clear message about our commitment to showing that Japan in general, and the Tohoku region in particular, have recovered from last year’s tragic events only a year after and are ready to rediscover their position among the world’s premier tourism destinations.”
The Summit will be held in two locations to mark recent significant events in Japan:
Sendai City (April 16th-17th): A year after the Tohoku region was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11th 2011, the WTTC Global Summit will open with a dinner in Sendai City, the focal point of last year’s disaster recovery efforts.
The Summit will commence with a Welcome Dinner on the evening of April 16th followed on April 17th by three sessions on disaster recovery and the place of Asia in world travel and tourism. The WTTC Executive Committee and Annual General Meeting will take place at the same time as the Summit sessions.
Tokyo (April 17th-19th): In the evening of April 17th, the Global Summit will continue in Tokyo with its Opening Ceremony including WTTC’s prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
Atsutoshi Nishida, chairman of the WTTC Global Summit 2012 Host Committee, welcomed delegates to Japan: “Japan has developed a distinct travel culture that is permeated with the spirit of hospitality.
“I want to make WTTC’s Global Summit a fusion of this unique culture and Japan’s cutting edge technology.
“The Global Summit will take place in April - a wonderful time of year in which spring can be enjoyed to the full, and the cherry blossoms - the symbol of Japan - are in full bloom. I look forward to hosting everyone during the time of year in which “the heart dances its most”.
Follow the Summit and have your say on our official twitter feed @WTandTC, using #WTTC2012.