Five Ministers of Tourism and Development have accepted IAPCO's invitation to discuss their vision of business and professional events and tourism in their respective regions, reflect on measures taken for the safe return to in-person events, and look at the future of the sector.
IAPCO President Ori Lahav interviewed:
- Sofia Zacharaki, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Greece
- Denise Guillén, Vice Minister of Tourism, Panama
- Michelle Fridman Hirsch, Secretary of Tourism Development, Yucatan, Mexico
- Remo Monzeglio, Deputy Minister of Tourism (Tourism Undersecretary), Uruguay
- Nigel Huddleston MP, Under Secretary of State (Minister for Sport and Tourism), United Kingdom
"These interviews are a testament of optimism" said Ori Lahav, IAPCO President. "All 5 Ministers shared their understanding of the value the business tourism industry brings to the economy and contribute to their positionning on the world's agenda, and how PCOs contribute to the sector. They reflected on new ways forward and making sustainability the key driver of their recovery strategies." He added: "In 2020, more than 90% of events were cancelled, postponed or went virtual. PCOs had to re-invent the way they bring people together. PCOs are valued recovery partners through resilience, experience, creativity and constant drive for innovation."
The Forum initiative is driven by IAPCO's Strategic Global Task Force of National PCO Associations, a group of 14 National PCO Associations created during the pandemic to share knowledge and leverage local intelligence to propose a global approach. Under the lead of two IAPCO Council Members, Monica Freire and now Alejandro Ramirez Tabche, and using the combined expertise of the National PCO associations and IAPCO members, the Task Force created and distributed advocacy guidelines for PCOs worldwide in collaboration with Joint Meetings IndustryCouncil (JMIC). Members continue to work relentlessly to advocate for the Professional Meetings and Events industry as recovery plans are being established.