Industry Leaders at WTTC Summit Aim to Restart International Travel

Top private and public sector leaders in the travel and tourism industry took a united stand to safely restart international travel at the closure of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Summit. They used the forum to share their experiences from the last 12 months, which has ravaged the travel and tourism sector, and discussed how together they could safely restart international travel, while looking to an even more sustainable and inclusive future of the sector. 

Under the theme of “Uniting the World for Recovery,” tourism ministers from around the world and senior travel and tourism business leaders agreed that the need for greater public and private collaboration. At WTTC’s “Global Leaders Dialogue” session, they debated how the sector could tackle the pressing issues of protecting jobs, saving businesses and supporting the global economy through the safe revival of international travel. The growing importance of using digital technology, such as biometrics—a major force in the post-COVID-19 world—was recognized as being critical to creating a contactless, safe and seamless traveler journey.

Hundreds of business leaders, government ministers and decision-makers from across the global travel and tourism sector gathered together in Mexico to discuss the road to recovery for the embattled sector. The Global Summit was the WTTC’s first of its kind since the outbreak of the pandemic—with tens of thousands more joining virtually. In-person attendees, according to WTTC, complied with strict world-class health and hygiene protocols, including regular testing being made available for all delegates for the duration of the summit.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO said in a statement: “Our very presence here shows that we can resume international traveling once more—by observing the latest health and safety protocols.”

WTTC also committed to work towards a more inclusive and sustainable future. It pledged to advocate and advance gender equality and equity and boost female representation in leadership roles by launching its “Women’s Initiative” with the help of former professional tennis player and 18-time Grand Slam singles title winner, Martina Navratilova. The WTTC “Women’s Initiative Declaration” recognized the contribution of women around the world and the importance of an equal equitable environment for women to thrive as leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators. 

The Global Summit also named Carnival Corporation president and CEO Arnold Donald as new chair of WTTC. Donald took over from outgoing chair, Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton, after three years at the helm of WTTC.

Following the huge success of the three-day Cancun Global Summit, WTTC announced Manila, capital of the Philippines, will be the host of its next Global Summit, with dates to be confirmed. 

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