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WTTC Global Summit begins next week

WTTC Global Summit begins next week

The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Summit in Tokyo and Sendai begins next week, with a host of world-class speakers confirmed to contribute.

The WTTC annual Global Summit is the pre-eminent event in the global travel and tourism calendar each year, bringing together nearly 1,000 industry and government leaders from around the world to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing travel and tourism and to set the agenda for the future health of the industry.

This year, the Global Summit takes place in Tokyo/Sendai from April 16-19, 2012 with sessions surrounding the theme, “A dynamic industry in turbulent times.”

It is fitting that the Global Summit is taking place in Japan just over a year after the tragic events of March 11, 2011, and WTTC is choosing to show solidarity on behalf of the entire travel and tourism industry with both the country and the region affected, by holding part of the Global Summit in Sendai City, Tohoku region.

In total, 85 speakers will take part throughout the three-day event including:


- Tadao Ando – Architect
- Fujio Cho - Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation
- Parag Khanna - Director, Hybrid Reality Institute
- Atsutoshi Nishida - Chairman&CEO, Japan Travel and Tourism Association; Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation
- Taleb Rifai - Secretary-General, United Nations World Tourism Organization
- Alan Root - Wildlife Filmmaker and Adventurer
- Hon. Mr. Marthinus van Schalkwyk - Minister of Tourism, South Africa
- Maurice Strong - Founder Chairman, Cosmos International Inc.

As well as a host of the biggest names from the travel and tourism industry, including:

- Michael Frenzel - Chairman of the Executive Board, TUI AG
- James Hogan - President&Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways
- Shinichiro Ito - President&CEO, All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.
- Tom Klein - President, Sabre Holdings
- Jim Murren - Chairman&CEO, MGM Resorts International
- Chris Nassetta - President&Chief Executive Officer, Hilton Worldwide
- Masaru Onishi - Representative Director, Chairman, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.
- Frits van Paasschen - President&Chief Executive Officer, Starwood Hotels&Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
- Chen Rong, CEO - China International Travel Service
- Jeffrey Rutledge - Chairman&CEO, Travel Guard Worldwide
- John Slosar - CEO, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.
- Hiromi Tagawa - President&CEO, JTB Corp
- Willie Walsh – CEO, International Airlines Group
- Gordon Wilson - President&CEO, Travelport Limited
In total there are 9 sessions over the course of the 3 days:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 (Westin, Sendai)

Session 1 - Disaster Recovery: Lessons from Japan and Elsewhere (0830-1030)
Session 2 - Asia’s Travel&Tourism: An Inside Look (1100-1200)
Session 3 - Asia’s Travel&Tourism: Global Perspectives (1240-1345)

Wednesday, April 18 (PAMIR Convention Centre, Tokyo)

Session 1 - Japan: Where Now, Where Next? (0830-1030)
Session 2 - Our Rapidly Changing World (1100-1230)
Session 3 - Airlines : Their Role&Ever-Changing Nature (1400-15.15)
Special Session - Revitalizing Societies - guest presentation by Tadao Ando, Architect (15.45-1615)
Session 4 - Our Story: Speaking with One Voice (1615-1730)

Thursday, April 19 (PAMIR Convention Centre, Tokyo)

Session 5 - Understanding Tomorrow’s Consumers (0830-10.05)
Special session – Geoffrey Kent interviews Alan Root, Oscar-winning film-maker and adventurer (1005-1030)
Special session – Toyota’s Vision for Future Vehicles – guest presentation by Fujio Cho, CEO, Toyota (1100-1130)
Session 6 - Tourism for Tomorrow (1130-1310)

For the full Summit Program, go to:

David Scowsill, President and CEO, WTTC said: “This is shaping up to be a truly great Global Summit with contributions from some of the biggest names in the travel and tourism industry and beyond. It means a great deal to us all that we are holding part of the Global Summit in Sendai, the city most associated with the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

“The summit is much more than what happens on the main conference stage. It is a melting pot where people meet, do business, and network. It helps to bring the industry together to present a more united, coordinated front to the world. Everyone at the Global Summit plays a part in helping governments (local, national, regional, supranational) and wider society to better understand travel and tourism’s role as a driver of economic growth and employment. Travel and tourism can play a significant role in powering the global economic recovery, but it needs governments to advance policies, which play their part - particularly relating to visa entry and taxation policies. The Global Summit brings all the players together and creates the environment for dialogue, decisions, and action.”