WTTC Global Summit leads the tourism industry through turbulent times

Wednesday 15, February 2012


WTTC Global Summit leads the tourism industry through turbulent times


It is only two months until 1,000 travel and tourism leaders will gather in Sendai and Tokyo from April 16-19 to discuss and debate some major issues facing the industry, during the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 12th Global Summit.


The Global Summit is the pre-eminent event in the global travel and tourism calendar each year and is attended by industry and government leaders from around the world. As such, the summit offers an unparalleled platform for speakers from within and beyond the industry to share their views with an international audience of prominent business, financial, political, and media leaders.


This year’s Global Summit will tackle some of the biggest questions in the industry with the overall theme of “Leading a Dynamic Industry through Turbulent Times.”


David Scowsill, President and CEO, WTTC, said: “The travel and tourism industry is in a unique position to power sustainable growth. It has been a turbulent twelve months, including unrest in Africa and the Middle East, impacting on traveler patterns, and last year’s devastating earthquake in Japan. Now it is more important than ever for us to discuss on how to ‘Lead a Dynamic Industry through such turbulent times’ and restore its economic power globally. This year’s Global Summit aims to inform the travel and tourism industry on how this can be achieved globally.”

The summit will be held in two locations to mark recent significant events in Japan:

Sendai City (April 16-17, 2012)
A year after the Tohoku region was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, the WTTC Global Summit will open with a dinner in Sendai City, the focal point of last year’s disaster recovery efforts. The summit will commence with a Welcome Dinner on the evening of April 16 followed on April 17 by 3 sessions on disaster recovery and the place of Asia in the world of travel and tourism. WTTC’s Executive Committee and Annual General Meeting will take place at the same time as the summit sessions.

Tokyo (April 17-19, 2012)
on the evening of April 17, the Global Summit will continue in Tokyo with its Opening Ceremony including WTTC’s prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. Hot topics are on the agenda for April 18 and 19, which are designed to inform delegates how to effectively lead the industry through difficult times. Sessions include Japan: Where Now Where Next; Our Rapidly Changing World; Airlines: Their Role&Ever-Changing Nature; Our Story: Speaking with one Voice; Understanding Tomorrow’s Consumers; and Tourism for Tomorrow.

High-level industry leaders representing every sector of the global travel and tourism industry will participate in speaker sessions, interviews, and panel debates. Some of the speakers are:


  • Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman of Japan Host Committee; Chairman&CEO, Japan Travel and Tourism Association; Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation
  • Chen Rong, CEO, China International Travel ServiceChristopher Nassetta, President&CEO, Hilton Worldwide
  • Fujio Cho, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Gordon Wilson, President&CEO, Travelport Limited
  • James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways
  • Kaori Enjoji, Tokyo Bureau Chief, CNBC
  • Nick Ross, Presenter, BBC
  • Hon. Mr. Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism in the Cabinet of South Africa
  • Mutsutake Otsuka, Vice Chairman of Japan Host Committee; Vice Chairman&Chairman of Committee on Tourism, Keidanren
  • Willie Walsh, Former CEO of BA, current CEO International Airlines Group
  • Shinichiro Ito, President&CEO, All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.
  • Siza Mzimela, CEO, South African Airways
  • Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the UNWTO
  • Hon. Mr. Najib Mohamed Balala, Minister for Tourism, Kenya
  • CEOs from a host of the world’s leading Travel&Tourism organizations



 David Scowsill continued: “Having the Global Summit in Sendai and Tokyo sends a clear message about our commitment to showing that Japan in general, and the Tohoku region in particular, have recovered from last year’s tragic events only a year after and are ready to rediscover their position among the world's premier tourism destinations."

Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman of the WTTC Global Summit 2012 Host Committee, welcomes delegates to Japan: “Japan has developed a distinct travel culture that is permeated with the spirit of hospitality. I want to make WTTC’s Global Summit a fusion of this unique culture and Japan’s cutting-edge technology. The Global Summit will take place in April - a wonderful time of year in which spring can be enjoyed to the full - and the cherry blossoms - the symbol of Japan - are in full bloom. I look forward to hosting everyone during the time of year in which ‘the heart dances its most.’”

The Global Summit will take place in the Westin Sendai on April 16-17 and at the International Convention Centre Pamir in Tokyo on April 17-19.



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