The World Travel & Tourism Council 2017 Global Summit

Date: 26 - 27 Apr 2017
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 17th Global Summit, the flagship global private sector event of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, will take as its theme “Transforming our World”.   

Travel & Tourism’s power to transform economies, places, and lives in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be set against the challenges faced by the sector to ensure it contributes positively to a sustainable future.


Transforming Our World - a global agenda for sustainable development. 

Against a background of continued population growth, what will our world look like in 2030 and what are the demographic shifts we need to be aware of? What are the implications of inequality and what do we need to do to ensure economic growth that works for all? What is the role of business in delivering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? What are the expectations on business to do so? What specific role can Travel & Tourism play?

Altered States - has globalisation had its day? 

A global political leader will give their perspective on the current state of the world – the rise of populism and the increasing call for protectionism; the challenges facing global diplomacy as power bases shift to emerging economies; migration, both voluntary and forced; economic growth and globalisation; and the role of governments and business in working towards a more sustainable future.

Partnerships for Transformation: the power of working together.

Partnerships and collaboration are often held up as the key to future success. The outgoing Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization will explore what that success can look like, what it takes for a partnership to work, and what the future shape of such collaboration should be.

China - taking the long view.

As the strongest growing Travel & Tourism economy, and soon to be the world’s largest, this session will focus on the plans and priorities for Chinese companies both within and outside China, and consider the sustainable development impact of Chinese travellers in China and abroad.

Freedom to Travel - can ASEAN countries lead the way?

WTTC’s strategic campaign “Freedom to Travel” will be explored through the lens of ASEAN. Regional leaders from the public and private sectors will discuss the challenges and opportunities of increasing connectivity. What is the role of aviation in connecting the region internally and externally? Are open skies the answer? What are the constraints? Will a single visa for ASEAN ever be reality?

Digital Borders - where is the balance between security and travel facilitation?

The combined challenges of increasing traveller numbers and more stringent security requirements are putting pressure on “Freedom to Travel”. Experts from the digital sphere, law enforcement, and the Travel & Tourism sector will explore what needs to happen to make digital borders a reality considering issues such as cybersecurity, digital identity, and authentication, and the harmonisation of data requirements.

Shock Waves - resilience through crisis.

Shocks such as terror attacks, natural disasters, and health pandemics continue to put pressure on Travel & Tourism. This session will look at crisis management strategies from experts and those who have direct experience, and explore how the sector can remain resilient in the face of continued and unpredictable crisis events.

Protecting People and Places - can tourism be too much of a good thing? 

With 1.8 billion international, and billions more domestic travellers expected by 2030, the future sustainability of Travel & Tourism growth will be defined by a better understanding of the sector’s impact and the adoption of strategies which translate this growth into sustainable, positive contributions to the people and places that underpin the product and experience. This session will ask what such strategies will look like, who is driving them, and what Travel & Tourism of the future will look like if sustainable solutions to growth are not found.

The Future of Work – is Travel & Tourism ready? 

Travel & Tourism directly employs 108 million people around the world and the sector’s capacity to create jobs is key to its ability to contribute to the United Nations SDGs. But there are a range of demographic, technological, and industry trends that are changing the shape of ‘work’ in the future. What are these trends and how will they affect tourism? What does the sector need to do to prepare for these changes?

Shifting Realities – new opportunities. 

Virtual reality, drones, and mobile data – three technological developments which will each in their own way have transformational impacts on Travel & Tourism. We look at examples of how these are being used today to shape the reality of Travel & Tourism tomorrow.

The Traveller of the Future - business travel.

Business travel accounts for 25% of Travel & Tourism’s economic contribution around the world and for every one dollar spent on business travel, $10 enter the world economy. WTTC will launch new research showing which countries are most reliant on business travel, and where business travel is growing fastest. This session will look at the dynamics of business travel, future trends within the segment, the extent to which it can contribute to sustainable development, and how destinations can harness its benefits most effectively.

The Traveller of the Future - luxury travel. 

Luxury travel is a segment that continues to grow despite challenges in other segments of the sector. Why is luxury travel more resilient? Where is the growth? What are the opportunities for the ASEAN region? With a focus on value over volume, what is its role in sustainable development? What do destinations need to do to support and encourage luxury travel?

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