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National Geographic to sponsor UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit

National Geographic to sponsor UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit

This is the fifth year the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and WTM will host the Ministers’ Summit, which this year will bring together around 200 tourism ministers, aides and industry experts to share their extensive knowledge, ideas and experiences.

This year’s Summit, part of the WTM Ministers’ Programme, which takes place on Tuesday, November 8, will focus on How Tourism Can Prosper in Times of Uncertainty and will be moderated by globally renowned journalist, Keith Bellows, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

The 2011 UNWTO & WTM Ministers Summit will focus on:

The role of emerging markets The impact of fiscal consolidation and increased taxation in European tourism The future of tourism in the Middle East and North Africa The role and importance of governments and tourism public policies after the crisis

Confirmed panelists include:


H.E. Mr Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica
Mr Hiran Cooray, Chairman , Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
H.E. Mr Trond Giske, Minister of Trade and Industry, Norway
H.E Mrs Fatou Mas Jobe-Njie, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Gambia
Mr Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President for International Affairs, Etihad
Mr David Scowsill, CEO , WTTC
H.E Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism, South Africa
H.E Mrs. Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia

World Travel Market Chairman Fiona Jeffery said: “Last year’s UNWTO Ministers’ Summit at World Travel Market - Shaping a Stronger Travel and Tourism Industry: Governance and business models for the future - proved a great success.

“Once again, this year’s event will be an extremely significant one for travel and tourism, with some of the most important people from across the globe debating issues that are central to the future of our industry.

“We are thrilled that Keith Bellows, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine, has agreed to moderate this Summit.

“Under Keith’s stewardship, National Geographic Traveler magazine has won more than 60 travel writing awards and seven Folio awards for best travel magazine as well as being instrumental in making the publication the world’s most widely-read travel magazine.

“He lectures extensively around the world and his unrivalled knowledge and expertise make him the ideal person to chair such a prestigious event.”

The Summit will be followed by a press conference to publicise the main conclusions and outcomes of the debate and to highlight the direction the industry will take moving forward.

The press conference will take place at Platinum Suite 5 and 6, Level 2, ExCeL, on Tuesday November 8, from 14.30 - 15.30.

For the second year running, delegates will attend a prestigious WTM Ministerial Dinner at one of London’s most iconic venues, St Paul’s Cathedral on the evening of November 8th.

Tourism ministers and senior aides from around the world will be entertained by Tenor Nicky Spence before the dinner, which is also being sponsored by National Geographic.

Editors from 36 leading global travel trade publications will also be present at the dinner.

Deborah Armstrong, Senior Vice President, Media Sales and Partnerships for National Geographic, said: “National Geographic has inspired people to travel and explore the world for over a century. 

“At National Geographic we support responsible organisations such as World Travel Market, a vital global forum for travel industry sector.”

“We are delighted to sponsor the Ministers’ Summit and Ministerial Dinner, which focuses on maintaining momentum in challenging economic circumstances.”

National Geographic is one of the world’s most recognised travel media brands, dedicated to inspiring people to find out more about the world around them.

Since 1888, the National Geographic Society has been committed to the exploration, conservation and diffusion of knowledge about the world in which we live.

National Geographic’s journalists, explorers, film-makers and field experts travel all over the globe on a mission of discovery to bring back a wealth of information and compelling stories.