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Robert Redford lined up for WTTC Americas Summit

Robert Redford lined up for WTTC Americas Summit

Hollywood legend Robert Redford and Roberto Hernández Ramirez, chairman of the board, Banco Nacional de Mexico, are the latest in a long line of distinguished speakers who will be at the inaugural WTTC Americas Summit in the Riviera Maya, Mexico, next week.

From the May 16th-18th 2012, key industry figures from the public and private sectors, NGOs and the media will convene for a unique networking forum.

The event will be the first in a series of WTTC ‘Regional Summits,’ and will explore commonalities as well as challenges throughout the tourism industry in the Americas while identifying opportunities for growth and collaboration.

Redford and Hernandez Ramirez are added to a list of speakers that already includes Mexico’s president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and telecoms entrepreneur, Carlos Slim.

They will be joined by ministers of tourism from around the world including secretary Gloria Guevara of Mexico; US deputy secretary of state, Thomas Nides; Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the UN World Tourism Organisation; executives from hotels, airlines, tour operators and travel agencies; and key opinion leaders from the media such as CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg.

The theme for the inaugural WTTC Americas Summit is “Travel & Tourism: Generating jobs and prosperity”.

This aligns with the priorities of the T20 meeting of the G20 Tourism Ministers, that takes place immediately before in Merida, Mexico, and the upcoming G20 meeting of global leaders in Los Cabos, Mexico in June.

Sessions will cover the trends shaping the future of the industry, collaboration between public and private sectors, enhancing air connectivity to drive growth, easing visa restrictions to promote travel, building a sustainable future and enhancing the workforce.

Travel plays a significant role in the economies of the Americas, not least in Mexico where the industry accounts for nine per cent of the country’s annual gross domestic product and employs approximately 2.5 million people.

One of the highlights of the summit is sure to be the address from president Calderón, who has positioned tourism as a national priority and driver of growth and prosperity.

WTTC president David Scowsill said: “This inaugural WTTC Americas Summit is shaping up to be a great event.

“We have some of the biggest names in business in the Americas like Carlos Slim and Hector Ramirez, alongside leading figures in the travel industry globally speaking at the event and are confident that the sessions will be both lively and informative.

“The summit also represents a great place to meet, do business and network.”