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Thoughts on the Future of Travel&Tourism from panel of Industry Leaders at WTM

At an event to mark the 15th anniversary of the World Travel & Tourism Council, at the World Travel Market in London a panel of industry leeaders…

At an event to mark the 15th anniversary of the World Travel & Tourism Council, at the World Travel Market in London a panel of industry leeaders commented on their expectations of the future.



Moderated by BBC TV journalist Gwenan Edwards, the panel debate was an example of the discussions that will take place on a much larger scale at the next Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Washington DC, under the theme ‘Open Mind, Open World’, when over 500 of the most influential people in the industry will gather to discuss the major issues confronting Travel & Tourism.



The panellists were:



Dimitris Avramopoulos, Minister of Tourism, Greece
Roger Dow, President and CEO, Travel Industry Association of America
Ed Fuller, President & MD, Marriott International Lodging
Lalit Suri, Chairman & Managing Director of Bharat Hotels
Vince Wolfington, Chairman Emeritus, Carey International and Chairman, WTTC



Panel Discussion Highlights:



The panel covered the following topics: how the industry has changed in the past 15 years, public private sector dialogue, future trends in Travel & Tourism and the role of WTTC. Below are selected quotes and highlights.



How the industry has changed



Lalit Suri: “We have to live with terrorism and beat it. Within 48 hours of the Delhi bombings, the three markets were all up and running again.”
Roger Dow: “Over the past 15 years, Travel & Tourism has shifted from a few markets to many.”
Vince Wolfington: “Governments have taken more notice of our industry. In the past the concentration has been on visitor count; now it is on economic impact.”
Ed Fuller: “New technology has enabled us to better understand the customer and thereby deliver services focused to their needs. The great opportunity is leisure growth. For example, customers now demand an experience rather than sun, sand and sea; the environment will become fun.”
The Minister: “There are no big and small destinations; there are just big and small ideas.”



Public Private Collaboration



Ed Fuller: “WTTC is the catalyst to help countries see the opportunities presented by close cooperation between industry sectors and government.”
Vince Wolfington: “The challenges ahead will by their nature demand more public and private collaboration.”
The Minister: “WTTC is emerging as the forum where the public and private sector are really getting together. I have learnt a lot from WTTC, as it really thinks globally.”



Most Potent Indicators for the Future



Ed Fuller: “Customer research to guide the development of products”
Roger Dow: “Demographics”
Lalit Suri: “Infrastructure improvement”
The Minister: “Simplicity, quality and authenticity”



The Role of WTTC in Future



The Minister: “This is the moment for WTTC to become a dynamic factor for international stability”
Lalit Suri: “One of WTTC’s strengths is that it is a non partisan organisation. Using this strength, it should continue to bring public and private sectors together.”



The Next Summit



Vince Wolfington: “The Summit in Washington will be able to draw participants from all corners of the globe and we expect a broad and diverse attendance, which will facilitate a truly open discussion on international issues.”
Ed Fuller: “By bringing together destination governments and investors, the Summit provides WTTC with a unique opportunity to move beyond a mere discussion of issues and to identify real solutions.”

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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