WTTC recently organised its first virtual Annual General Meeting during COVID-19 pandemic

With over 120 CEOs joining the event from across the world, the event enabled participants to discuss the pressing issue of reviving the global Travel and Tourism sector

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) organised its first virtual AGM recently attended by over 120 CEOs worldwide to discuss the progress, challenges, and importance of international collaboration, in the global Travel & Tourism private sector.

WTTC has been at the torchbearer for leading the private sector to revive the global consumer confidence and international travel scenario since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commemorating the loss of lives during the COVID-19 pandemic post the meeting, Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said, “2020 will be remembered as the year the world stood still and all around the globe, people lost loved ones to COVID-19. We must never forget the pain and suffering this pandemic has caused millions of people from all corners of the earth.” 

Commenting on the downfall of Travel and Tourism sector, Guevara said, “The Travel & Tourism sector has suffered like never before, with millions of people’s livelihoods being impacted. There has never been a greater need for the sector to come together in a globally coordinated way to ensure the recovery process is swift and painless.”

I’m so proud of the entire WTTC team, who have worked tirelessly throughout the year in order to bring attention to the crisis our sector is facing, and in doing so, showing ourselves to be the voice of the sector,” Guevara added.

The meeting was chaired by Chris Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton and WTTC Chair. The meeting witnessed contributions from Members around the world and WTTC’s Vice Chairs namely, Gary Chapman, President Group Services & dnata, Emirates Group; Jeffrey C Rutledge, Chief Executive Officer, AIG Travel;  Jerry Noonan, Co-founder, Global Hospitality & Leisure Practice, Spencer Stuart and Darrell Wade, Co-founder and Chairman, Intrepid Group.

Furthermore, the Regional Vice Chairs including, Jane Sun Chief Executive Officer of Trip.com; Desirée Bollier Chair and Chief Merchant, Value Retail; Manfredi Lefebvre, Chairman, Silversea Cruises; Arnold Donald, President & Chief Executive Officer, Carnival Corp; Alex Zozaya, Executive Chairman, Apple Leisure Group; and Hiromi Tagawa, Executive Advisor, JTB Corp, attended the meeting.

WTTC Ambassadors, Taleb Rifai, WTTC Global Ambassador; Chairman of International Advisory Board of International Institute for Peace through Tourism and former UNWTO Secretary-General; Michel Taride, WTTC Ambassador EU, Strategic Advisor, former Group President Hertz International and Chair of the GTTP Advisory Board; Michael Frenzel, WTTC Ambassador EU and President of Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry; and Peter Greenberg, WTTC Ambassador US, and CBS News Travel Editor, also presided over the virtual meeting.

WTTC presented the key initiatives undertaken in 2020 in the meeting. All welcomed the pioneering initiative- 100 million Jobs Recovery Plan by WTTC. This initiative was earlier presented to and applauded by G20 during a meeting held between G20 Tourism Ministers, more than 45 CEOs, and members of WTTC in October under the leadership of Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, the Heads of State had agreed to continue in recovering the Travel and Tourism sector from the pandemic in the ‘G20 Declaration’ announcement last week. The Heads of State would continue collaborating with stakeholders, including the private sector, to ensure the recovery of Travel and Tourism sector from the pandemic. The G20 Guidelines for Action on Safe and Seamless Travel, a primary priority for WTTC since 2017 was endorsed during the meeting. Also, the establishment of the G20 Tourism Working Group was greeted by the attendees.

The WTTC Members lauded the G20 Leaders to acknowledge the importance of working with the private sector; and the importance of Travel and Tourism in recovery and creating millions of jobs. 

WTTC had sent letters to the Heads of State of the G7 and Australia, South Korea, and Spain in August urging to create strong leadership and effective international collaboration and coordination to resume travel safety. Next week, Spain will host an event in La Palma to progress the key actions to provide an impetus to the sector and strengthen international collaboration.

The meeting ended on a positive note, with WTTC Members resolving to restart international travel safely and seamlessly. In addition to that, recovering 140 million-plus jobs affected by the pandemic will be one of the primary objectives of WTTC.


Around The World