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Global tourism leaders gather in Brussels to discuss a new era in Travel & Tourism

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Dimitris Papadimoulis, Vice President of European Parliament
Global tourism leaders gather in Brussels to discuss a new era in Travel & Tourism

Under the theme “Investment, Connectivity and Hospitality”, the Global Tourism Forum Leaders’ Summit Europe 2022 kicks-off on September 6th at the Radisson Collection Hotel, Grand Place Brussels.

The full day event has brought together over 40 top high-level speakers to boost and support the start of a new era of growth for the Travel & Tourism sector for Europe and the world.

European Commissioners, EC Director General and Directors; the most important representatives of the European Parliament; Ministers of Tourism from Asia and Africa; CEOs of major airlines, hotel Groups, technology providers as well as prominent European destinations and Travel & Tourism value chain European and International Associations get together in brussels to speak with one voice to address the challenges and opportunities faced by the Travel & Tourism ecosystem in the post-pandemic world and be at the forefront of a ‘new era’ of tourism trends, offering new options to a new generation of travelers, as well as opportunities led by digitalisation.

The Summit raised the the most important matters faced by the sector, such as the sector’s vision on smart tourism, the green transition, new trends in mobility; investment models for travel & tourism, sustainability, gender equality & women empowerment or how digitalization & blockchain technologies shape tourism.

Session on “Mobility Challenges and New Trends”, Ismail Ertug (Member of European Parliament), Henrik Hololei(Director-General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission), Eduardo Santander (CEO, European Travel Commission),
József Váradi (CEO, Wizz Air)

Bulut Bağcı, President of WTFI said: “Together we are stronger to boost and support the start of a new era of growth for the Travel & Tourism sector for Europe and the world”

Ismail Ertug, Member of European Parliament said: “Tourism is a major economic activity in the EU with wide-ranging impact on economic growth, employment and social development “.

José Ramón BAUZÁ DÍAZ, Member of European Parliament said: We should claim tourism in Europe as an economic engine ahead of a potential recession. The next few year are crucial and other countries are ahead of us. I urge the EU leaders to promote European tourism and mitigate the effects of the energy crisis in the sector. The EU must be capable of offering attractive and affordable products and selling our continent to the world. Starting by creating a true European brand that attracts visitors from the rest of the world and put tourism in the centre of our economies. Tourism can, once again, play a fundamental role in this crisis and the European Union cannot lose the opportunity.”

Adina-Ioana Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport said: “It’s difficult to imagine tourism without transport. When transport is restricted, tourism suffers – as we saw at the height of the pandemic. It is imperative we have a resilient and robust transport sector. A transport sector that is prepared for future challenges, sustainable, accessible and affordable”.

Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission said: « A well-functioning and well-connected market, underpinned by strong competition is essential. These principles are at the heart of the European transport system. Our role as regulator is to ensure that new operators can enter the market with new business models and ideas, to help drive innovation and sustainability. This in turn will create opportunities for the transport and tourism sectors, businesses and consumers alike.”

Federico J. González, CEO Radisson Hotel Group

H.E. Mounira Hassaballah, Minister of Tourism, Republic of Tchad said: “Chad has put a lot of resources into the tourism sectoris a crossroads of culture and an all in one. By choosing to invest in Chad, one can benefit from unparalleled advantages, a favorable political and economic environment geared towards encouraging private and public foreign investment”

Akbar Al Baker, Chairman of Qatar Tourism said: “I am pleased to participate in the Global Tourism Forum Leaders Summit on behalf of Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism. It is of paramount importance to align on the global tourism recovery, and the key role aviation plays. This year, I am excited to share with you Qatar’s key preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the long-lasting impact it will have on tourism in Qatar. I hope to see you all in Doha this November.”

Caroline Leboucher, CEO of Atout France said: “The pandemic and the various hazardous weather events we experienced this summer are wake up calls for the travel and tourism industry. It’s high time to accelerate together, public and private partners, alongside NGOs and local communities to implement more coordinated and concrete actions towards a more resilient, responsible, inclusive and sustainable tourism. Atout France, the French NTO, is fully committed to taking part in that global challenge.”

Gloria Guevara, Chief Special advisor Saudi Ministry of Tourism said: “We need to work together to make travel & tourism part of the solution in the fight against climate change”. The global initiative aims to accelerate the transition to net zero of this very important sector, while driving action to protect nature and supporting communities. Millions of MSMEs need knowledge, tools and support to be climate neutral. Youth, academia, NGOs, destinations and all stakeholders should be part of the process … we were delighted to share the initiative in this very important forum in the capital of Europe .”

José Ramón Bauzà (Member of European Parliament) and Akbar Al Baker, Chairman of Qatar Tourism, Group CEO of Qatar Airways

Marie-Caroline Laurent, Director General Europe, CLIA said: “The cruise industry is integral to sustainable tourism strategies. Our comprehensive approach tackles sustainability through reduced cruise ship emissions, environmental protection measures onboard and leading practices at destinations we visit.”

Eduardo Santander, CEO of the European Travel Commission (ETC) said: “Today in Brussels we are discussing how to shape Europe’s tourism future in the best way. As travel to European destinations finally restarts in full swing, the sector is already facing the old problems with capacity and management. The EU must lead the way fostering best practice sharing and new forward-looking policies, which put people – local citizens, travellers, workers – as the top priority. Still, I am confident that tourism in Europe will prevail and continue thriving.”

József Váradi, CEO, Wizz Air said: “Wizz Air has been carrying the flag of low-cost travel in new markets to democratize the travel industry. Mobility and accessible flights to everyone will remain fundamental across Europe and beyond. Moving forward, deregulation and maintaining a level playing field will be key to encourage competition of airlines, strengt2hening market efficiency and enabling affordable travel.”

Claudia Tapardel, CCO Ariva Digital said: ‘Ariva Digital is essential for bringing the travel & tourism industry at the next level, in the new era dominated by growth & innovation through our digital & blockchain solutions.”

Gloria Guevara, Chief advisor Saudi Ministry of Tourism

Marian Muro, CEO Barcelona Turismo said: “Barcelona has been the first city to obtain Biosphere certification as a destination. The challenge now is to reconvert the entire industry and speed up the process of transforming the tourism model. A process that will take time, as a change of model requires time, efforts, sacrifices and investment. Our goal is for Barcelona to be an example of a sustainable urban destination.”

Peter Gerber, CEO of Brussels Airlines said: “Brussels Airlines, part of Lufthansa Group, is clearly committed to becoming CO2-neutral by 2050. However, a global level playing field for aviation must be ensured by European policy makers.”

Elena Kountoura, Member of European Parliament, said: “Women’s leadership in tourism is directly linked not only with the sector’s success, but also with the social and economic growth of whole destinations and local societies, worldwide!”

Willie Walsh, Director General IATA said: “A sustainable tourism industry is a must for Europe and the airline industry is determined to play its part. Airlines are committed to achieving net zero by 2050. Accelerating and scaling up the availability of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) will be critical in the transition to net zero and represents a fantastic opportunity for Europe. With the right policy framework and incentives, SAF production will help to improve energy independence, create new highly skilled jobs and guarantee a sustainable future for aviation and tourism.”

Strategy is the key!

What we learned with pandemy that tourism is in DNA of human and cards are reshuffled. Therefore Public and Private sectors must work closer to implement changes to meet requirements of sustainable and environmental friendly developments.

Erdal Seyhan | CEO of Hospitality Development

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