Who’s Who of global tourism gather in Saudi Arabia to shape the future of travel at 22nd WTTC Global Summit

Economic recovery, sustainable tourism strategies, and inclusive employment approaches to dominate debate in Riyadh.

Examining how to build a stronger and more collaborative future under “Travel for a Better Future” theme

Global travel experts from the public and private sector will gather in Riyadh for the 22nd World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit to tackle how travel and tourism can help deliver positive solutions for sustainable economic development, new job creation and community development.

Delegates meeting in Riyadh from November 28 to December 1 will participate in a number of key sessions to agree a collaborative strategic road to travel and ensure the sector brings the Summit theme “Travel for a Better Future” to reality.

Speakers and delegates are among the Who’s Who of the global travel and tourism industry including the CEO of the world’s largest hotel group, Anthony Capuano of Marriott International, alongside Hilton President and CEO, Christopher Nassetta, Hyatt Hotels Corporation President and CEO Mark Hoplamazian, IHG CEO Keith Barr, Accor Chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin, and Radisson Hotel Group President and CEO Federico Gonzalez.

They will be joined by representatives of tourism organizations from around the world representing investors, destination operators, travel agencies and technology firms. These include government officials such as Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques; Austrian State Secretary for Tourism, Susanne Kraus-Winkler; Barbados Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Hon. Lisa Cummins; and the Deputy PM and Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, Hon. Chester Cooper.

Other notable attendees who will be speaking at the Summit include former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and former UK Prime Minister Lady Theresa May.

Saudi Arabia Minister of Tourism, HE Ahmed Al-Khateeb, said: “This Global Summit comes at a pivotal time for the travel and tourism industry.”

“What the world’s leaders and change makers discuss and debate here in Riyadh will have a major and lasting impact in ensuring that collectively we travel together for a better future.”

Dominating formal sessions and diverse panel sessions will be wide-ranging debates and discussion on how to reboot and re-energize the global travel and tourism sector as it recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to manage current geopolitical challenges that impact travel.

One of the key areas of wide-ranging conversations throughout the Summit will be the need for the travel and tourism sector to develop an increasingly diversified offer of attractions, balancing sustainability with growth and fostering innovation. 

Saudi Arabia’s own ambitious tourism development strategy is anchored in major destinations that will be built on a sustainable platform with many powered by renewable energy such as the projects by NEOM and Red Sea Global. 

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As the Summit is being held just a few weeks after COP 27 in Egypt, the delicate balancing act between creating tourism destinations in the world’s most beautiful and pristine locations with the needs of the environment will also be a major topic throughout the gathering.

With sustainable investments totaling $35.3 trillion in 2020, the travel and tourism sector is now actively seeking enhanced frameworks to measure environmental impact. This includes examining ways to reverse biodiversity loss and implement new nature positive tourism, sustainable aviation fuel use, and effective waste management systems and single use plastic reduction. 

In many developing nations, tourism is both one of the biggest current and future employers for many people because the sector is expected to create 126 million new jobs in new and emerging destinations.  Participants at the Summit can anticipate a lively action-oriented agenda throughout on how to ensure individuals are able to benefit from growth and new infrastructure development and local community investment and training.

Other key challenges are likely to revolve around how travel can truly be an enabler through the implementation of new technology and innovation for the continuing development of the sector from how we travel to how we pay for our holiday experiences.

Delegates will also be looking at ways to build a stronger and more collaborative future together.  Reinforcing the need for shared expertise, knowledge and experience from the more developed tourism markets are to filter down to developing and emerging destinations for mutual economic benefit.

The Summit is set to be the most influential travel and tourism event of the year, and participants will also be able to attend virtually. You can register your interest to attend virtually by visiting GlobalSummitRiyadh.com.

To view the provisional Global Summit program, please click here.

SEEN IN IMAGE:  His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism – image courtesy of WTTC

eTurboNews is a media partner for WTTC.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Anna Gridneva, Director, APCOWorldwide, [email protected]

About the author

Linda Hohnholz