The 11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas concluded with David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council calling on the travel & tourism industry to come together with one voice so that it can be better placed to engage in dialogue with governments and ensure that the industry can power global growth in the twenty first century.
Scowsill pledged that he would unite the voices of WTTC members with those of industry and trade bodies as well as intergovernmental agencies and organisations in a new coalition.
He said: “My hope is that this coalition will bring us together where there is shared ground and issues, and allow us to target our messages in a clear and unambiguous way. Where we can, WTTC will take leadership on particular matters. And equally, where required, WTTC will provide support or follow the lead of others within the coalition. It is not important who leads or who follows as long as we get the job done.”
(David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC talks with Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman, Toshiba and Mutsutake Otsuka, Chairman, East Japan Railway Company)
From the discussions which took place during the Summit, Scowsill identified six areas where this work could begin:
1. Businesses and government institutions must embrace a new global mindset to match the challenges of growth. If not they will not be sufficient to meet the explosive growth and shift of economic power we are experiencing.
2. The industry will need to do a better job of demonstrating the huge returns it will offer over the next 20 years if it is to attract the level of institutional, private and government investment required for the development of infrastructure and new products.
3. Building on the WTTC/Oxford Economics Business Travel study launched during the Summit, the clear message of the importance of business travel to trade and economic growth, as well as corporate profits, needs to be communicated.
4. Travel & tourism needs to continue to be at the front of technological innovation and brand awareness in the on-line and mobile space, and adapt to be prepared for the next generation of global travellers and tourists.
5. There is an urgent need for careful planning for growth of Travel & Tourism infrastructure to be sure that it can sustainably meet the demand from the millions of new consumers from emerging economies.
6. Finally, and most importantly, the industry needs to engage personally with decision makers at the highest levels of government.
He called for governments around the world to open their doors to travel & tourism, following the examples of Mexico and South Africa.
“Where there are open doors, we will offer our advice and our best efforts to work together. Where we find doors closed, we will knock loudly and in unison until they are eventually opened. President Calderon took the time to come to the Summit to cement his support for partnership and co-operation. He provides us with an example of how an administration can be actively open for business with the Travel & Tourism sector,” Scowsill added.
He continued, “Over the past two days we have heard very positive words of encouragement from the US Administration, suggesting that there are more doors starting to open than we thought. We look forward to these positive words being turned into deeds and actions that make a real difference.
“We thank our Japanese friends for their invitation to Tokyo in 2012 and their leadership in demonstrating the important role Travel & Tourism plays in bringing wealth generation and jobs back to those regions affected by unforeseen calamities. We look forward to their hospitality next year and seeing at first hand their remarkable recovery”, concluded Scowsill.
Over 900 delegates attended the Summit, which was hosted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and took place at the Aria Resort and Casino. The 12th Global Travel & Tourism Summit will take place in Tokyo, Japan on 17-19 April 2012.