WTM London partners with ITIC Virtual Summit

WTM London partners with ITIC Virtual Summit

A virtual conference called “The Future Of Travel & Tourism – Financial Strategies for Recovery” takes place on Wednesday June 10th from 9:15am to 2:15pm (BST).

Organised by the International Tourism and Investment Conference (ITIC) in partnership with WTM London, the virtual summit considers how this vital economic sector will emerge from COVID-19 and what is needed to ensure growth.

Travel, tourism and hospitality are at the centre of an unprecedented business collapse as the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world forever in 2020.

Businesses that depend on tourism and travel are desperate to reopen and begin to operate under the “new normal”.

Under the chairmanship of Dr Taleb Rifai, former Secretary General of UNWTO, the virtual summit will feature prominent and inspirational speakers.

It will bring together experts from the health sector, tourism ministers, policy-makers and leaders from the travel and tourism sector – connecting them with investors, investment bankers and private equity firms to discuss financial solutions and preparedness to reopen the tourism industry for a better future.

WTM London’s Senior Exhibition Director, Simon Press, says:

“WTM London is honoured to partner with ITIC and is committed to support the travel industry as it adapts to the unique challenges of COVID and prepares for recovery – providing platforms for the global travel and tourism industry to share insights.

“Annually, WTM London connects travel industry professionals from 182 countries, offering unrivalled commercial opportunities and business insights and ITIC Virtual Summit will carry on our conversation on how to reopen the tourism industry.

“In 2019, our show contributed to a total of £3.75 billion worth of travel industry business deals being signed. This year, the recovery of the travel industry starts at WTM London.

“Our conversation on June 10 will gather great minds discussing the trends that will determine the future of the tourism industry.”

ITIC Virtual Summit focuses on three themes:

  • Health: dealing with Covid-19, and how we restore travellers’ confidence and rebuild business.
  • Investment: understanding the financial mechanisms that allow you to survive and rebuild.
  • Future: This may not be the last crisis, how can you prepare for any future global catastrophe

The current status of tourism will be discussed, unravelling how the responses of governments and the tourism industry in different countries have been effective and analysing the intricacies of the financial support plans already introduced.

Leading health experts have been invited to participate in the panel discussions to shed new light about the latest vaccine research that could accelerate the recovery of the travel and tourism industry by restoring business confidence.

The thought-provoking themes on the agenda are geared towards the future paradigm shift. Enriching panel discussions will debate how destinations can secure sustainable investment and how businesses should reposition for recovery when the pandemic comes under control.

Former Secretary General of UNWTO, Dr. Taleb Rifai says:

“We live today in unusual and difficult times. Who would have imagined just three months ago that we would only be able to hold an event like this online?

“We are living in a world where uncertainty has prompted so much fear and panic that no one knows what tomorrow will bring.

“As the pandemic threat became clear, governments intervened aggressively – though to varying degrees. Initially the focus was on containment and healthcare for the infected.

“But as the long-term threat became clear, the focus moved to life after containment which, without a cure, is also a vital part of living.

“As we emerge from this initial phase we must aim for life with dignity, prosperity and hope. So, there is a great need to support economic recovery as a matter of urgency and also to implement measures that restore confidence and trust in the hearts and minds of people.

“This conference is, therefore, very timely and ITIC and WTM London have joined hands to bring this Virtual Summit to you. We must start planning for tomorrow and we must introduce ways and means of bringing back a sense of normality to the world in which we live.

“This is an important summit not just because of the subject matters but more significantly, its timing.

“I am sure we are all going to come out of this summit a little more confident about the direction in which we are headed.”

Join us and register – EVENTBRITE.

For more information contact info@itic.uk or visit our conference website https://itic.uk/investment-summit-home/.

PROGRAMME:  The Future Of Travel & Tourism Financial strategies for recovery

09:15 – 09:30: Connecting Time

09:30 – 09:40: Welcome

  • Rajan Datar, BBC
  • Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman ITIC and former Secretary-General UNWTO
  • Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, WTM London
  • Ibrahim Ayoub Group CEO & MD, ITIC LTD

09:40 – 10:00: Covid-19 has transformed our future. Where do we stand now?

Introductory conversation with guests hosted by Rajan Datar, Presenter and Broadcaster BBC

  • Gloria Guevara, President and CEO WTTC

10:00 – 10:15: The current Global Economic Outlook and future investment perspectives.

10:15 – 10:45: Why health protection is the key to recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector?


  • Rajan Datar, BBC
  • Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis, University of Bournemouth


  • Hon. Majd Mohammad Shweikeh, Minister Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan

10:45 – 11:30: Planning for the future: Investment measures needed to boost the recovery of the global travel and tourism industry


  • Prof Ian Goldin, Professor of Globalisation and Development at the University of Oxford and the Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technological and Economic


  • Hon. Najib Balala, Minister of Tourism, Kenya
  • Keith Barr, CEO IHG
  • Raki Phillips CEO Ras Al Khaimah

11:30 – 11:45: One-to-one Interview

11:45 – 12:30: Rethinking investments for better preparedness against potential future catastrophes


  • Peter Greenberg (CBS News)


  • Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism Jamaica
  • Hon. Elena Kountoura, Member of the European Parliament
  • Nicolas Mayer, Partner PWC

12:30 – 13:00: Networking Session

13:00 – 13:45: Concluding remarks

The way forward: Foresight’s, initiative and changing paradigms.


  • Rajan Datar, BBC and Gerald Lawless, WTTC Ambassador, Director ITIC & Advisory Board member Dubai Expo 2020


  • Hon. Nikolina Angelkova, Minister of Tourism Bulgaria
  • Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman ITIC and former Secretary-General UNWTO
  • Mr. Christopher Rodrigues, Chairman of the Port of London Authority
  • Ambassador Dho Young-Shim, South Korea
  • Mr. Haitham Mattar, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Tourism KSA
  • KC Li Kwong Wing, Chairman of Union Pay Africa
  • Ben Lock Senior Director Edelman

13:45 – 14:15: Questions & Answers with members of the international press

14:15: -Closing-

Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman ITIC and former Secretary-General UNWTO & Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, WTM London


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