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 Public-Private Sector Synergies Are the Key to Success
Says Panel of Travel & Tourism Leaders


November 10, 2003 London, UK - At an event to launch the next Global Travel & Tourism Summit, a panel of industry leaders spoke out forcefully to advocate much greater collaboration between government and industry in order to foster sustainable growth and greater security for the travelling public.

The panel discussion, which took place at the World Travel Market in London, was moderated by television journalist Gwenan Edwards and covered issues ranging from emerging markets and the implications of the latest technology to the impact of government policy on safety & security.

The panel debate was an example of the discussions that will take place at the 4th Global Travel &Tourism Summit on a much larger scale from 1 – 3 May 2004 in Doha, Qatar, when over 500 of the most influential people in the industry will gather to discuss the major issues confronting Travel & Tourism. 

The panellists were:

  • Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways
  • Jean-Claude Baumgarten, President, World Travel & Tourism Council
  • Luis Correia da Silva, Minister for Tourism, Portugal
  • Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor, NBC’s Today Program
  • Lalit Suri, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Hotels and Member of Parliament, India
Jean-Claude Baumgarten said: “The outcome of the last Summit was a Blueprint for New Tourism; at the next Summit, we will be focussing on the major initiatives that must be undertaken to drive constructive change.”

Akbar Al Baker said: “In Qatar, tourism is the second industry behind natural resources.  At the Summit, we will unveil a grand plan for tourism in Qatar.”

Panel Discussion Highlights:

Below are selected quotes from the panellists on various issues.

Jean-Claude Baumgarten said: “Governments have to elevate Travel & Tourism to senior cabinet positions.”

Lalit Suri endorsed this comment and pointed out that: “The WTTC private sector initiative in India has helped to elevate Travel & Tourism to senior government levels in the parliament.  The result has been investment in crucial infrastructures and policies which will help to make India a destination to be proud of.”

Luis Correia da Silva sais: “In Portugal, we work closely with the private sector on new legislation governing Travel & Tourism development.”

The Experience

Peter Greenberg said: “Tourism is no longer about the destination, it’s about the experience and the industry must change to recognize that. The question is what can I do in your destination that I can’t do at home?  I want to go fishing, catch the fish and cook it with the hotel chef – that’s an experience!”

Akbar Al Baker continued: “Everyone has sun, sea and sand.  We are differentiating ourselves by selling our culture.  In addition, safety and security is a selling point.  In my country the crime rate is zero.”

Peter Greenberg added: “In my country over 1100 people a week have a serious accident in their own bathtub so you have to keep safety and security in perspective.”

About The 4th Global Travel & Tourism Summit

The 4th Global Travel & Tourism Summit, which will be the highest-level meeting in the Travel & Tourism calendar next year, will take place at the Sheraton Doha, from May 1 – 3 2004.  Under the theme ‘Driving Change’, it will be attended by the Chairmen and CEOs of the world’s top Travel & Tourism companies, over a hundred of the world’s leading travel and business journalists and numerous government officials. 

Delegates will consider the future of the industry in a series of plenary sessions, highly interactive panel discussions, several small groups and informal conversations over meals. 

Sir Ian Prosser, Chairman of WTTC and InterContinental Hotels said: The Summit offers unparalleled networking and the opportunity to shape the future of one of the largest industries on Earth, which employs 200 million people and represents over 10 per cent of world GDP.

The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global business forum.  Its Members are Chief Executive Officers of some 100 of the world’s most prominent Travel & Tourism businesses.  The mission of the Council is to raise awareness of the economic importance of Travel & Tourism worldwide.  According to WTTC research, in 2003 Travel & Tourism will represent over 10 per cent of global GDP and more than 194 million jobs worldwide. 

David Tarsh
Communications Consultant
World Travel & Tourism Council
+44 (0)777 0816 070
Also See: Half-year Results for the Middle East and Africa Hotel Markets Indicate Occupancy Levels Dropping by 8%, to just 54% / HotelBenchmark / Aug 2003
The World Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Monitor - Tracks by Country the Competitive Environment for Travel & Tourism Development / November 2003
SARS Has Massive Impact on Travel & Tourism in Affected Destinations / World Travel & Tourism
Council Report / May 2003

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