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Breaking Travel News explores: Speaker line-up unveiled for WTTC Global Summit in Rwanda

Breaking Travel News explores: Speaker line-up unveiled for WTTC Global Summit in Rwanda

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is putting final preparations in place for its stellar Global Summit in Kigali this week.

The 23rd hosting of the event will take place from November 1-3 November, with Ivorian footballing legend Didier Drogba set to take to the stage.

Regarded as one of the greatest African football players in history, and all-time top scorer and former captain of the Ivory Coast national team, Drogba will share his experience of growing up in the West African country, and his continued fight for social progress.

After retiring from professional football, this titan of industry continues to inspire and change lives.

WTTC is delighted to announce three heads of state will also take to the stage at the summit, as well as a vice-president.

Other keynote speakers include Justin Urquhart-Stewart, global economist and renowned business commentator; David Pekoske, administrator of the United States Transport Security Administration; Juliet Slot, chief commercial officer at Arsenal Football Club.

Other notable speakers include Francis Gatare, chief executive of the Rwanda Development Board, and Yvonne Makolo, chief executive of Rwandair and chair of the board of governors of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the first woman to take on this role.

The theme underscores the significance of the sector beyond revenue: its impact on the planet and global communities.


Business leaders from across the globe will collaborate on future-proofing the sector, ensuring resilience, inclusivity, and sustainability.

Speakers from WTTC include Arnold Donald, WTTC chair; Greg O’Hara, founder and managing partner Certares; Gloria Fluxa, vice chairman and chief sustainability officer, Iberostar; Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, chairman of Heritage Group and co-chair of Abercrombie & Kent, Julie Shainock, Global managing director for travel, transport logistics and hospitality, Microsoft and Matthew Upchurch, president of Virtuoso.

Julia Simpson, WTTC chief executive, expressed: “We are delighted to announce that such heavyweight and influential figures will be joining us in Kigali next week.

“This is our first Summit on the African continent. Rwanda’s dedication to the tourism sector’s resurgence after challenging times is commendable.

“The nation’s rapid growth trajectory positions it as an upcoming tourism hotspot.”

Under the theme “Building Bridges to a Sustainable Future” the event will focus on the value of the sector, not only to the global economy, but to the planet and communities around the world.

During the Global Summit, industry leaders and international government officials from around the world will gather in Rwanda’s capital to continue aligning efforts to support the sector’s recovery and address the challenges the future poses to ensure a safer, more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable tourism sector.

Government dignitaries, including South Africa tourism minister, Patricia de Lille; Tanzania minister of natural resources and tourism, Angellah Jasmine Mbelwa Kairuki; and Ukraine tourism development chairperson, Mariana Oleskiv, will also grace the occasion.

More Information

For the full Global Summit programme, please visit the official website.