WTTC makes an attempt to unite among the world for tourism restoration
- Did you miss the WTTC summit in Cancun? Check out the entire event on eTurboNews in this article on page 3.
- Some of the world’s leading private and public travel and tourism guides have come together at the conclusion of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit to safely resume international travel.
- At the Global Summit, Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald was named as the new Chairman of WTTC, which represents the largest companies in the global private travel and tourism sector.
The most important members of the just concluded summit discussed how they can safely resume international travel together and at the same time strive for an even more sustainable and comprehensive future of the sector.
After three successful years at the helm of WTTC, the new WTTC Chairman succeeds the outgoing Chairman Chris Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton.
Following the success of the two-day Cancun Global Summit, WTTC announced that Manila, the capital of the Philippines, will host the next Global Summit, the dates of which have yet to be confirmed.
Over 600 business leaders, ministers and key decision-makers from across the global travel and tourism sector gathered in Mexico to discuss the path to recovery for the disputed sector.
It was evident that participation varied from region to region and was held at a spot representation summit. Leaders from the European Union and South Africa were not seen in person, but other key figures such as the Brazilian Minister of Tourism; Roger Dow, director of the US Travel Association; or Isabell Hill, director of the US Department of Commerce’s Department of Travel and Tourism, in which a virtual link participates.
Puerto Rico was the original location of the 2020 Summit. The 2020 Summit has been moved to Cancun. The official reason was the hurricane damage. 2020 has not yet taken place in 2021. Therefore, WTTC celebrated 30 years in Cancun.
Unsurprisingly, Puerto Rico didn’t matter this week or was seen at the WTTC conference.
According to media reports, the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. has filed a lawsuit against the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) seeking a $ 1.5 million refund under an agreement that it was breaking Hosting the event has paid on the lawsuit in the San Juan Superior Court.
In September 2019, the local event co-host Discover Puerto Rico signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK-based WTTC to host the 2020 WTTC World Summit on the US island in the April 2020 event after Puerto Rico.
In January 2020, however, WTTC announced that it would no longer hold the event in Puerto Rico and instead move it to Cancun, Mexico. Associated with this announcement was the WTTC’s alleged confirmation to Tourism Co. that it would reimburse the $ 1.5 million in full if the government accepted the event’s cancellation under the lawsuit.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) was also missing in Cancun. When Dr. Taleb Rifai was Secretary General of the UNWTO, both WTTC and UNWTO were always seen together and coordinated the activities. This stopped when the Georgian citizen Zurab Pololikashvili took over the helm of the UN organization in 2018. The fact that many UNWTO government members now regard WTTC as a credible partner confirms how much UNWTO has lost relevance in the global world of tourism. This explains the great interest of the public sector in also being part of the WTTC trendsetter.
Although WTTC is the largest travel company in the world due to the pandemic or the membership base of tourism-dependent destinations like Nepal, Asia and Africa, the Pacific could not be part of this potentially vital discussion. The Jamaican Minister Edmund Bartlett gave a voice to many of them. Jürgen Steinmetz, Chairman of the World Tourism Network (WTN), which represents many medium-sized and small companies in 127 countries, observed the event as a non-member.
The most prominent participant and the person who received numerous recognitions and awards was the Hon. Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia. He also made the keynote address. Saudi Arabia was given the opportunity for WTTC to have a regional office in its kingdom. Saudi Arabia has also reached Mexico and the Caribbean with investment and cooperation opportunities. The new regional UNWTO center is also located in Saudi Arabia. A center with the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center is also planned. The minister said when his country announced tourism visas just before COVID-19 hit the world, 40,000 applications were expected. The reality was 400,000.
Opponents especially in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia warned of serious human rights violations in Saudi Arabia. However, the fact is that despite these challenges, the kingdom’s tourism potential is enormous.
Vaccines alone are not the answer. Read about these and other challenges discussed and watch the event archived online. Click on NEXT PAGE.
One of the world’s most global tourism ministers and an advocate for the needs of smaller, tourism-dependent destinations, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett of Jamaica is in a two-week quarantine on his return to Jamaica. He knew the importance of the Cancun event in raising the concerns of the Caribbean and other smaller travel destinations to compete with huge industrialized nations like the US, Europe and the UK.
Vaccines alone cannot be the answer. There has to be a balance of fairness. Britain would be guilty of “vaccination policies” and unfair discrimination if it banned travel to countries like Jamaica in the next month because vaccination rates are too low in countries like Jamaica.
Instead, Bartlett urged the UK to honor its historic Commonwealth connections by sharing its vaccine supplies with Jamaica and other poorer nations.
The truth is that 10 countries cornered more than 70 percent of all vaccines in the world, vaccinating their populations at five times the rate of the rest of the world.
The truth is also that many of the so-called poorer countries have managed to keep both visitors and residents safer than richer nations with strict protocols tailored to the individual situation. Many small and medium-sized members of the World Tourism Network (WTN) are concerned about this inequality and believe it will hurt recovery. “We are only safe when we are all safe,” said US President Biden. There have been 170 former heads of state and Nobel Prize winners calling on the US president to press for a temporary waiver of patent protection so poorer nations can manufacture or obtain vaccines for their people. The worst example is currently in India.
In a world first, WTTC organized its event in person for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic – tens of thousands joined them virtually – and adhered to strict world-class health and hygiene protocols. eTurboNews made its global network available to WTTC free of charge. All WTN members were also invited to watch live and communicate with WTN participants in Cancun via WhatsApp.
Periodic tests were made available to all participating delegates for the duration of the summit to ensure that their safety is of the utmost importance.
Out of 1,000 tests, 2 or 3 were positive. “We did not allow those who tested positive to enter the venue,” said Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of WTTC.
Gloria said, “At our Global Summit, WTTC brought together exceptional leaders from the private and public sectors of Travel & Tourism who shared their desire to safely reinvigorate international travel.
“Our presence here shows that we can resume international travel by following the latest health and safety protocols that WTTC has developed for businesses large and small across the industry.
“Together we’ve shown that with a unified front, both the private and public sectors of travel and tourism can drive change and get the world moving again so we can begin to travel our experiences face-to-face, to explore and share.
“We concluded our global summit here in Cancun with the confidence that together we can revitalize a sector that will bring about economic recovery and bring people back together thanks to the amazing benefits International Travel & Tourism can bring.”
Under the motto “Unite the world for reconstruction”, tourism ministers from around the world and the business leaders of Travel & Tourism agreed that greater public and private cooperation is required.
At WTTC’s Global Leaders Dialogue session, they discussed how the sector could address pressing issues of protecting jobs, saving businesses and helping the global economy through the safe revitalization of international travel.
The growing importance of the use of digital technologies like biometrics, a major force in the post-COVID-19 world, has been seen as critical in creating a contactless, safe and seamless journey for travelers.
WTTC is also committed to working towards a more inclusive and sustainable future. She promised to work for and promote equality and equality of the sexes as well as to strengthen the representation of women in management positions by starting her women’s initiative with the help of the 18 Grand Slam individual title winner Martina Navratilova.
The WTTC Women’s Initiative Declaration was signed at the Global Summit, recognizing the contribution of women around the world and the importance of a just environment for women as leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators.
On the next page you can watch both days of the event with the live broadcast of eTurboNews. Click on NEXT PAGE.