The countries and leaders who have made a difference to increase the competitiveness of the Travel & Tourism sector within their countries have been recognized at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Champions Awards at the WTTC Global Summit in Seville this week.
The inaugural WTTC Global Champions Awards recognizes those countries from 185 around the world which have used policy initiatives to create the conditions to promote the long-term sustainable growth of our sector.
The categories of awards and the recipients are as follows:
Security & Seamless Travel Experience which recognizes leadership in transforming border security and the traveler experience through the use of technology and facial recognition systems – awarded to Kevin McAleenan, Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection, USA.
Resilience which recognizes leadership by a country which has demonstrated success in recovery from adverse events – H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Tourism, Arab Republic of Egypt.
Social Impact which recognizes leadership in enabling gender equality and diversity; engaging local communities and making the sector more attractive for future generations – awarded to Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife in the Government of Kenya.
Destination Stewardship which recognizes leadership for work undertaken to overcome seasonality as a way of improving the year-round tourism experience – H.E. Elena Kountoura, Minister of Tourism, Government of Greece.
Crisis Preparedness, Management & Recovery which recognizes leadership in disaster preparedness and having effective response systems at both national and local levels – H.E. Keiichi Ishii, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Government of Japan.
Innovation and Technology recognizes leadership in innovation and the implementation of technology that meets the needs of tomorrow’s travelers and fosters sustainable tourism growth – awarded to H.E. Maria Reyes Maroto Illera, Minister of Tourism, Government of Spain.
The awards ceremony took place at the Gala Dinner of the WTTC Global Summit which was held in Seville, Spain, and hosted by Ayuntamiento of Seville, Turismo Andaluz and Turespana.
Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, commented: “The WTTC Global Champions Awards are designed to recognize those countries and individuals whose policies or initiatives have made a significant contribution to the creation of jobs in our sector in a range of different ways.
“Promoting the long-term sustainable growth of our sector is critical and the winners will help those countries and individuals whose actions have had the greatest impact.”