Trade Shows and EventsGlobal industry leaders will convene in Manila to spur global travel recovery and chart a direction to move beyond to a more sustainable future.

WTTC Global Summit gather top minds to drive travel recovery

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Keynote speakers confirmed include former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon; Arnold Donald, Carnival Corp. CEO and WTTC chairman and more.
Keynote speakers confirmed include former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon; Arnold Donald, Carnival Corp. CEO and WTTC chairman and more. Photo Credit: WTTC

The World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) 21st Global Summit, themed “Rediscovering Travel”, will take place in the Philippines from 20 to 22 April.

Following the success of its physical event in Cancun, Mexico last year, this year’s annual summit will be hosted in Manila. The hybrid event is projected to draw more than 600 in-person attendees, with a virtual platform made available for global audience.

The aim of this year’s event is to continue the alignment of efforts to support the travel's recovery from the pandemic. According to Julia Simpson, WTTC’s president and CEO, "WTTC's Global Summit will act as a catalyst to drive forward the recovery of a sector that is critical for both the economy and jobs.”

More than 20 government representatives from around the world will convene in-person at the 21st WTTC Global Summit. Tourism ministers from Spain, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Japan, the Maldives and Barbados have all confirmed their participations.

Philippines’ tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat described the summit as a “significant opportunity” for the country to showcase the steps taken for its eventual reopening to international visitors.

The event was initially scheduled to take place in March but it was rescheduled to a later date to allow more international participants to join in person.

Influential figures to take the stage

WTTC has since unveiled its keynote speakers, which include the likes of former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon; Arnold Donald, Carnival Corp. CEO and WTTC chairman; Greg O'Hara, founder and senior managing director of Certares and vice chair at WTTC; Nelson Boyce, Google's head of travel for the Americas; Kelly Craighead, CEO of CLIA; and Ariane Gorin, president of Expedia for Business.

Among the keynote speakers is 21-year-old Melati Wijsen, who at the age of 12 founded Bye Bye Plastics — a community engagement and educational movement driven by youth activists that advocates for the end of plastic bags.

Also taking the stage will be Craig Smith, group president international division for Marriott International; Federico Gonzalez, Radisson Hotel Group CEO; Jane Sun, CEO of Trip.com; and Darrell Wade, chairman of Intrepid Group. Travel Weekly’s own editor-in-chief Arnie Weissman will moderate two general session panels at the summit.

"It is heartening that these inspiring individuals have joined our efforts to bring the industry onward to full recovery," said Romulo-Puyat.

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