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WTTC/PATA Sendai Recovery & Asia Outlook Forum opens in Sendai

WTTC/PATA Sendai Recovery & Asia Outlook Forum opens in Sendai Newly appointed WTTC chairman Michael Frenzel opened proceedings at The Westin, Sendai

The joint World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Sendai Recovery & Asia Outlook Forum has opened in Sendai, Japan, with almost 500 industry professionals and government leaders from around the world present. 

As part of the WTTC Global Summit taking place in Tokyo and Sendai, April 16th-17th, the overall theme of this year’s Global Summit is, ‘Leading a Dynamic Industry Through Turbulent Times’.

This pre-eminent event offers an unparalleled platform for speakers from within and beyond the travel industry to share their views with an international audience of prominent business, financial, political and media leaders.

Emiko Okuyama, Mayor of Sendai City, addressed delegates

Topics to be discussed in Sendai include: the recovery of Japan and other countries; key trends and issues from inside tourism.

WTTC president, David Scowsill, said: “Just a year after the Japan earthquake and tsunami on March 11th 2011, the WTTC Global Summit will take place in Tokyo following a series of sessions in Sendai about Japan’s recovery.

“It means a great deal to us all that we are holding part of the WTTC Global Summit in Sendai, the city most associated with the earthquake and tsunami.”

Mutsutake Otsuka, vice chairman, Japan Host Committee, reminded guests Sendai was open for business following the 2011 tsunami

The event will conclude in Sendai and proceed to Tokyo for the opening reception, welcome dinner and the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards ceremony at Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa.

Martin Craigs, PATA chief executive said: “PATA has provided full support to Japan since parts of the Tohoku region were devastated by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th, 2011.

“PATA has implemented various activities run by the PATA Foundation.

“The PATA Rapid Recovery Taskforce has also been set up. In Sendai we are here to see how Japan has responded.

“We are here to learn from each other and share our knowledge and experience in preparation for future crises.”

World Travel Awards president Graham Cooke, left, chats with Bench Events chairman Jonathan Worsley at the opening ceremony in Sendai

At the International Convention Centre Pamir, Tokyo, the session of the 12th WTTC Global Summit will convene to examine the role of tourism as a driver of economic and social advancement at a time of global turbulence; impact on Japan’s tourism economy and road to recovery; global megatrends of our rapidly changing world and the role of airlines in the wider industry; and ensuring we take steps today to guarantee we have tourism for tomorrow.