The Inaugural World Travel and Tourism Council Americas Summit, held at the Grand Velas Resort in Riviera Maya, was a huge success, and a crucial milestone for the travel industry.
Jointly sponsored by the Mexico Ministry Hinojosa of Tourism and the Mexican Tourist Board, the two day Summit united Travel, and Tourism leaders from across the hemisphere, top representatives from the public and private sectors, Ministers of Tourism, World leaders, MGO’s and the media … bringing them together for the first time in a highly informative networking and discussion forum.
Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, President of Mexico gave an impassioned speech at the opening gala dinner, telling the audience: “It is a pleasure for Mexican people to welcome Ministers of Tourism. Tourism is the one industry that can create jobs.” Gloria Guevera Manzo, Secretary of Tourism, expressedMexico’s deep gratitude to all who gathered
During the two day Summit, focus was on the massive role Tourism plays in economics across the Americas and globally … supporting one in ten jobs and 800 billion dollars in travel investments. “Travel and tourism create jobs and generate prosperity. Freedom to travel stimulates growth.” Not a simple solution, the debate was how to lift visa restrictions without jeopardizing security.
Distinguished guests, moderators and panelists included: David Scowsill, President & CEO WTTC, Taleb Ritai, Secretary General UNWTO, Roberto Hernandez Ramirez, Chairman, Banco National de Mexico, Carlos Slim Helu, President Groupo Carso, Ministers of Tourism from Indonesia, Korea, China, Saudi, Brazil, Haiti, Jamaica, El Salvador, Trinidad, & Tobago and the actor/ director Robert Redford …to mention but a few.
The summit identified opportunities for growth of the travel industry, including easing and removing obstacles for obtaining visas and the power of branding as a prerequisite to the success of a destination. Dhiren Fonseca, Chief Commercial Officer, Expedia presented the revolutionizing impact digital and social media is having on the travel business and how mobile technology and social networking are driving and influencing consumer demands. The United States has launched its first National Tourism Incentive to create new jobs and open more visa offices around the world to fulfill demand...
President Hinojosa, told the audience, ”Mexico is investing 50 million a year in infrastructure to build highways and airports … to open the market domestically to airlines to bring more tourists to Mexico. We want more cruises to start from Mexican ports. We need to break deadlock to subsidize flights to domestic cities.Mexico is a friend and partner for life ofUSA, part of Global America. Part of my legacy is what we are doing to fight corruption and crime. We are overcoming terrible problems to makeMexico a safer place.
The message was loud and clear: Travel and Tourism create jobs and economic growth. If governments and private sectors continue to build on this vast potential, “freedom and mobility to travel” will have a huge impact on the future of the world economy.