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WTTC to Hold Sustainability and Investment Summit in Puerto Rico

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WTTC to Hold Sustainability and Investment Summit in Puerto Rico - TRAVELINDEXSan Juan, Puerto Rico, January 26, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company are delighted to announce the Sustainability and Investment Summit, which will take place on 14 June in the city of San Juan.

Announced at FITUR, the international tourism fair held in Madrid, Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said:

“This one day event will demonstrate WTTC’s and the wide Travel & Tourism sector’s commitment to preserving the planet, reducing the effects of climate change and, above all, increasing its resilience to ensure its continued sustainable growth.

“From the very beginning of this pandemic, the Government of Puerto Rico through the Puerto Rico Tourism Company have implemented enhanced health and safety protocols to preserve the health of travellers and kept its tourist services open and enhance its recovery.”

Carlos Mercado, General Director of the Puerto Rican Tourism Board, said: “The Sustainability and Investment Summit represents a great opportunity to recognise Puerto Rico as a safe destination, with advanced sanitary protocols, tourist attractions, and ample opportunities for investment and long term sustainable development.

“We thank WTTC for working together with us to hold this event on the island. We are ready to welcome the global tourism leaders who will be participating in this Summit, which will serve as a platform to discuss the present and the future of sustainable tourism.”

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Davos Agenda Closes with Calls for New Models of Public-Private Cooperation

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Davos Agenda Closes with Calls for New Models of Public-Private Cooperation - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, January 25, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Davos Agenda closed today following headline-making dialogues with heads of state and government, international organizations, business and civil society.

The week-long meeting convened leaders on “The State of the World”. It was the first global platform of the year and focused on driving concerted action among key global stakeholders.

“We are seeing challenges mounting from supply chain disruptions to tectonic shifts in labour markets, to inflation figures which are of concern to policy-makers and individuals alike. The year ahead is a crucial one to work together, rebuild trust and shape a better and more inclusive future for all,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

World leaders spoke on the global economic outlook, energy transition, social justice, healthy futures and resiliency in special address. In order of appearance this week:

“We need to embrace cooperation and jointly defeat the pandemic. Confronted by the once-in-a-century pandemic, which will affect the future of humanity, the international community has fought a tenacious battle,” said Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. “Facts have shown once again that amidst the raging torrents of a global crisis, countries are not riding separately in some 190 small boats but are rather all in a giant ship on which our shared destiny hinges. Small boats may not survive a storm, but a giant ship is strong enough to brave a storm.”

“In the midst of new challenges, the world today needs new avenues, new resolutions. Today, every country in the world needs cooperation with each other more than ever before,” said Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. “Our multilingual, multicultural environment is a great strength that teaches us not just to think of ourselves in times of crisis but to work in the best interests of the world.”

“Turning this ship around will take immense willpower and ingenuity from governments and businesses alike, in every major-emitting nation,” António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations said. “We see a clear role for businesses and investors in supporting our net-zero goal.”

“In order for the world to meet the 2050 net-zero emission goal, we need technologies that do not yet exist, we need inventions that do not exist yet,” said Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel.

“A key focus of my administration will be the revitalization of Japan through a new form a capitalism,” said Kishida Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan. He emphasized that the time has come for “historic economic and social transformations” and that Japan will pioneer a new form of public-private partnership, with leaders of government, industry and labour all working together to develop paradigm-shifting policies.

“Some will try to tell us dialogue and compromise are forms of weakness, said Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor of Germany. “Some will try and pitch climate action against prosperity. Some will argue that social progress hampers economic growth. Some will try to divide us. The truth is the progress we want will only occur if we overcome these divisions. Working together is the only way and restoring trust is our goal.”

Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, spoke on the strengthening of global health resilience and the need for advanced economies and the G20 to support a renewed global architecture, “The costs will be much lower than the losses we sustained due to the vulnerability of the system during the pandemic,” he said.

“Europe’s global semiconductor market share is only 10%. And today, most of our supply comes from a handful of producers outside Europe. This is a dependency and uncertainty we simply cannot afford,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. “We have no time to lose. And this is why I announce here today that we will propose our European Chips Act in early February.”

“The lesson of these times is that supply chain resilience requires a new partnership between countries, governments and businesses,” said Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia.

Access to COVID-19 vaccines continues to pose a serious problem for Africa, with fewer than 10% of populations fully vaccinated in most countries, said Yemi Osinbajo, Vice-President of Nigeria. He called for patent waivers to permit African countries to manufacture vaccines locally. “Now is a good time to test global will,” he said, in building international cooperation to prepare for new, possibly worse pandemics to come.

“We aren’t just focused on achieving a high top line growth number that is unsustainable,” said Janet L. Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States of America. “We’re instead aiming for growth that is inclusive and green. The economic moment is well suited to accommodate such a modern, supply side expansion.”

During the Davos Agenda, pioneering new research and project milestones were released to support stakeholders:

– Sustainable finance is increasing but the funds are not always reaching those most in need – see how public-private collaboration can facilitate sustainable investment for development.
– More than 100 million have been impacted by the work of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. The foundation includes over 400 of the world’s leading social innovators operating in over 190 countries.
– Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative is a leading global initiative to accelerate progress on the discovery, testing and delivery of precision interventions – it has created a new global system to reduce the time and cost of clinical trials.
– A new set of policy enablers to boost investment and innovation in digital economies was released to ensure digital transformation is inclusive and sustainable.
– Quantum science promises to disrupt the future of business, science and government – the first quantum computing guidelines launched to help leaders build an equitable framework.
– The global digital economy has surged off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, but so has cybercrime – ransomware attacks rose 151% in 2021 – the new annual The Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2022 examined how leaders can close the cyber gap and build resilience.
– The Forum worked closely with the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation as a member of the Technical Readiness Working Group. In so doing, the Forum contributed to the running start of the International Sustainability Standards Board supporting the creation of the standards prototypes that will now go through a standard-setting process.
– Plastic waste was in the spotlight as world leaders this week highlighted how they are moving fast to fight the climate crisis. Forum-supported companies are rolling out innovative reuse models to protect the planet.
– Nature-positive practices, those that add value to nature, could contribute $1.9 trillion to the economy a year and 88 million jobs by 2030.
– Cities can create 60 million jobs and save 50% on new infrastructure projects by adopting nature-based solutions. Nearly half of city GDP, $31 trillion, is at risk of disruption from nature loss.
– More partners announced plans to adopt nature-based solutions as part of the Forum’s platform bringing total global pledges to over 30 companies committing to conserve, restore and grow more than 3.6 billion trees in over 60 countries.
– Only 20% of companies both disclose their full value chain emissions and have emissions reduction targets in place. Winning the Race to Net-Zero outlines how businesses can close the emissions gap and stay competitive.
– A new accelerator dedicated to shaping the future of crypto-enabled environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts aims to bring key players and industry leaders together to shape a more inclusive future.
– The Belt and Road Initiative offers a new development paradigm through investment in green infrastructure – a new insight report highlights the role of the financial sector and how to capitalize on the growing global appetite for green investment

Featured quotes from Davos Agenda 2022 panels

Ivan Duque, President of Colombia, said: “Colombia closed 2021 with positive results”, noting his country’s positive economic growth and high percentage of vaccination rates. He said the goal for 2022 is to maintain growth while, at the same time, closing the social inequality gap.

Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica, said 85% of his country’s population had received a second COVID shot and that the process of vaccinating children was under way. “The main thing for Costa Rica is our vaccination drive. This is the only way to exit the health crisis.”

Alejandro Giammattei, President of Guatemala, said: “The challenge we have now is not only to promote growth but to turn growth into something sustainable. We need to improve the labour market and create more jobs. This will lead to better prosperity, health and education.” Generating new opportunities and ensuring economic benefits would reach all parts of society which, he pointed out, would also curb migration. “The only thing that stops a person is a wall of prosperity.”

Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador, highlighted the need for governments to commit to ethics and principles. “We need economic and inclusive growth within the rule of law and programmes that promote new opportunities. It is not just about economic growth but about quality of life and social cohesion.”

José Pedro Castillo Terrones, President of Peru, said his priority was economic reforms, noting that his government has invested $10 billion in strategic areas such as education, health and transport, and recently signed an infrastructure bill that will lead to more jobs. “We also want to invest in energy and natural gas, especially in transportation, so the entire country is connected.”

Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank, said: “In Europe, we are not seeing inflation spiral out of control. We assume energy prices will stabilize from the middle of 2022, bottlenecks will also stabilize in 2022 and, gradually, inflation numbers will decline.”

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, said, “The response to the pandemic crisis has been anything but orthodox. In a highly coordinated manner both central banks and finance authorities have prevented the world falling into yet another great depression.”

“We should have had a much more coordinated global response, as I’ve said so many times,” said Anthony S. Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). “A global pandemic requires a global response, and we have to keep in mind the issue of equity all the time because you can’t have a situation where you have virus circulating freely in one part of the world.”

“The private sector has to be engaged,” said John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. “It will be private sector investment and private sector discovery more than anything else, together with governments…that will get us out of this hole.”

About The Davos Agenda 2022
For over 50 years, the World Economic Forum has been the international organization for public-private cooperation. The Davos Agenda 2022 is the focal point at the start of the year for leaders to share their outlook, insights and plans relating to the most urgent global issues. The meeting will provide a platform to accelerate the partnerships needed to tackle shared challenges and shape a more sustainable and inclusive future.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Start-Up Innovation Camp Promotes Sustainable Tourism & Honours Start-Ups

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Start-Up Innovation Camp Promotes Sustainable Tourism & Honours Start-Ups - TRAVELINDEXRas Al Khaimah, UAE, January 22, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and organised by the World Tourism Forum Lucerne, the international Start-up Innovation Camp & Summit was held in Ras Al Khaimah on 18th and 19th January 2022. Steps towards a more sustainable future for tourism were discussed in workshops and a public conference with 150 participants. Twelve start-ups, which had to qualify in an intense competition, were also invited to showcase their innovative ideas for moving the travel and hospitality industries forward. The best four of them were presented with an award.

The World Tourism Forum Lucerne entered into a strategic partnership with the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) three years ago. This was done not only because Ras Al Khaimah is the fastest-growing tourist destination in the Middle East but also, and in particular, because the visionary emirate is engaged in numerous initiatives designed to make it a regional market leader in sustainable tourism by 2025. It was therefore entirely fitting that the emirate should put itself forward to host the internationally minded Start-up Innovation Camp & Summit, where innovations for more sustainable tourism are encouraged and promoted.

Commenting on the event, Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “We pride ourselves on being a dynamic and forward-looking Emirate, eager to adapt and embrace the changes required for the future success not only of the tourism industry but the wider business landscape. It is our goal in Ras Al Khaimah to nurture a tourism industry which is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable and we place a huge importance on fostering growth and development of start-ups within the Emirate to help achieve that vision.” Adding: “The WTLF start-up innovation summit was a great platform to cultivate an inclusive and productive forum to encourage innovation for future generations and drive positive change across the industry. I feel enthusiastic and hopeful for the dialogue we have started at this summit and for the future of tourism.”

International experts
The public conference attracted many high-calibre experts from all over the world, who came to share their expertise in fascinating talks and debate the future of tourism together. For instance, Samih Sawiris, member of the board of directors of Orascom Development Holding, revealed what he looks out for when investing in a start-up and explained that customers also need to learn that sustainability has its price. John Scanlon, chair of the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime, spoke about the many endangered species of animals in the world, why a loss of biodiversity is also a threat to humanity and how we can support the diversity of animal life. And Michael O’Shea, founder and owner of the international investment firm Kerten Group, highlighted the importance of networks such as that of the WTFL and of cultivating contacts with people, including young talent.

Getting start-ups integrated into the industry in this way is also a top priority for Martin Barth, President and CEO of WTFL: “In this fast-changing world, it’s more important than ever to bring start-ups with their new business model together with investors, but also with established companies. This is the only way we’ll transform the tourism industry into something more sustainable that is capable of surviving in the long term even when faced with a constant stream of new trends and new needs, like it is at the moment.”

Start-ups with groundbreaking ideas
The twelve top start-ups that were invited along had previously been picked by a panel of experts, having had to fight off over 400 competitors from 74 countries in a fierce qualifying round. The Innovation Camp gave them the opportunity to take part in a range of workshops and get one-to-one coaching in areas such as fundraising, marketing and sales, as well as presentation and communication skills.

They also benefited from the chance to talk directly to the tourist industry heavyweights that were at the event and succeeded in impressing their audience with their ideas and business models. The best performers were crowned the four winners, who received a sum of prize money plus entry into the World Tourism Forum Lucerne’s global network of start-ups:

Aguardio (“Hospitality” category) has developed interactive, Internet-enabled sensors that help reduce water and energy consumption in bathrooms without sacrificing comfort or convenience.
Tashi (“Transaction” category) offers a no-code tool that, for instance, enables individual tourist regions – even without any knowledge of coding – to create their own digital marketplace where all available offers can be integrated and viewed by customers.
PashooPakshee (“Destination” category) lets local artisans and communities in remote areas sell their hand-crafted souvenirs in tourist hotspots.
Spark (“Mobility”) makes car parks easier to use by allowing vehicles to be checked in and out in a contact- and paperless process and parking charges to be paid directly via a mobile app.

Ongoing screening of start-ups
WTFL regularly holds national and international Innovation Camps, such as the one in Ras Al Khaimah, to promote the best start-ups and give them a platform. This is possible thanks to the ongoing screening of fledgling companies that has led WTFL to build up an unparalleled network of start-ups over the years. With its Dealflow tool, WTFL has also created a digital platform that makes it even easier to bring young talent together with investors, CEOs and other individuals with industry experience. This is because, in tourism like in many other sectors, the success stories of tomorrow will be built on innovative business models, agility and strong partnerships.

More WTFL events in Ras Al Khaimah
On the back of the highly promising partnership between WTFL and Ras Al Khaimah, the emirate will also be hosting two more major events in 2022. The first of these is the “Talent Boost”, which will be all about how the industry can attract and retain enough talented individuals and how the new issues that tourism is having to contend with can be tackled in training and apprenticeships. The second event will see the “WTFL Think Tank” assemble in Ras Al Khaimah, where leading personalities from the worlds of politics, business and academia will discuss key topics of the future. This time, the focus will be on biodiversity.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

China President Xi Opens Davos Agenda with Call for Greater Global Cooperation

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China President Xi Opens Davos Agenda with Call for Greater Global Cooperation - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, January 20, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / President Xi Jinping of China called for stronger international cooperation in overcoming shared global challenges including defeating COVID-19, revitalizing the economy and addressing climate change, in the opening session of the World Economic Forum’s virtual event, the Davos Agenda 2022.

Xi outlined that the international community is still locked in a tenacious battle against what he called “a once-in-a-century pandemic”. Calling for greater global cooperation, he said: “The fight against the pandemic is proving to be a protracted one. COVID-19 is resurging with different variants and spreading faster than before. He added that shifting blame will only cause delays in response.”

Speaking in a special address to business, government and civil society leaders taking part in the week-long virtual event, he laid out a three-pronged approach to safeguard people’s health. First, countries need to strengthen active cooperation on research and development of medicines. Second, leaders need to build multiple lines of defence against the coronavirus. Third, countries need to fully leverage vaccines by ensuring equitable distribution, boosting vaccination rates and closing the global immunization gap.

Xi said that China is doing its part, having already sent more than 2 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations, to be closely followed by at least another 1 billion doses.

As the world emerges from the depths of pandemic gloom, Xi cautioned that several risks threaten to derail economic recovery, including disruptions in global supply chains, tight energy supply and rising commodity prices. He said: “If major economies take a U-turn in their monetary policies, there would be serious negative spillovers which will challenge global economic and financial stability.”

To fully unleash the vitality of the world economy, he also called for less protectionism, especially on trade. Economic globalization is an unstoppable trend which will not veer off course, he said, despite counter-currents along the way: “We should remove barriers, not erect walls. We should open up, not close off. We should seek integration, not de-couple.”

Xi highlighted China’s reform path. He pointed out that China’s domestic growth in 2021 hovered around a healthy 8% annually, with the country achieving its dual target of high growth with low inflation. Nevertheless, he also said Chinese leaders are aware of the further work necessary to achieve prosperity that benefits all people. “We remain committed to reform and opening up,” he said. “A rising tide indeed lifts all boats.”

On climate change, the Chinese president said that China stands ready to help the international community realize the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development and to achieve carbon neutrality in the long term. He outlined that China would honour its word to achieve carbon peaking by 2030 followed by specific industry plans towards carbon neutrality. Xi pointed out that China has the world’s biggest carbon market and clean energy capability.

Xi also cautioned that “weaponizing economic, scientific and technological issues will gravely undercut international efforts to tackle common challenges”. He said: “Developed countries should take the lead in honouring their emission reductions, deliver on their commitment to financial and technological support and create conditions for developing countries to address climate change,” he added.

Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum’s Founder and Executive Chairman, thanked China for taking an active part in collaborative global efforts to combat shared challenges. “The year 2022 will provide a unique opportunity for global leaders to work jointly towards a more inclusive, more sustainable and more prosperous world,” Schwab said. “We must unite despite the different views we hold; ultimately we belong to a single global humanity whose fate is increasingly interconnected.”

About The Davos Agenda 2022
For over 50 years, the World Economic Forum has been the international organization for public-private cooperation. The Davos Agenda 2022 is the focal point at the start of the year for leaders to share their outlook, insights and plans relating to the most urgent global issues. The meeting will provide a platform to accelerate the partnerships needed to tackle shared challenges and shape a more sustainable and inclusive future.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

PATA Annual Summit 2022 to Bring Global Travel Leaders to UAE

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PATA Annual Summit 2022 to Bring Global Travel Leaders to UAE - TRAVELINDEXRas Al Khaimah, UAE, January 1, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announces the next PATA Annual Summit will be held live and in-person from March 22 – 25, 2022 in Ras Al Khaimah, the northern most Emirate in the United Arab Emirates.

The event will be the first time that the not-for-profit travel trade association, which serves government, tourism offices, hotels, airlines and other travel-related companies with interests in the Asia Pacific region, will host its Annual Summit in West Asia. Hosted by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the four-day event will lead a global forum on sustainable growth and the value and quality of tourism today, bringing together international thought leaders, industry shapers and senior decision-makers who are invested in driving tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.

Comprising of a conference elements, experiential networking sessions, the PATA Executive Board and Board Meeting, and Annual General Meeting, the four-day Summit will be hosted in various locations across the Emirate, including the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, The Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi Desert and Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Center. Exploring the theme ‘Reconnecting the World’, the program will provide a platform for PATA’s public and private sector members and partners to convene on critical industry topics, including destination recovery strategies, sustainability and resilience, human capital development and innovation.

Additionally, PATA delegates will visit Expo 2020 to gain insight on the sustainability, innovation and design best practices around the world, including PATA Destination Members’ pavilions.

“We are honoured to be working with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority in bringing together our industry network to discuss opportunities and best practices to enable recovery and sustainable growth,” said PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera. “Next year’s event programme, under the theme ‘Reconnecting the World’, will take on a format that is more experiential, will maximize in-person connections and engage an appreciation for this beautiful destination plus the unique opportunity to experience Expo 2020. I invite all of our members, partners, Chapter members and industry colleagues to join us for this long-awaited opportunity.”

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, added “We are delighted to host the Pacific Asia Travel Association Summit for the first time in 2022. We look forward to productive talks and insights from industry leaders on critical topics shaping the industry today. As we continue to navigate through an ever-changing tourism landscape, it is even more critical to facilitate these important discussions and share key learnings. Being selected as the host destination is a testament to our destination recovery and resilience, sustainable initiatives and experience in hosting world-class events.”

Considered as the fastest growing destination in the Middle East, Ras Al Khaimah set a global benchmark by being the first city in the world to be certified safe by the ‘SafeGuard Label’ from Bureau Veritas and the ‘Safe Travels Stamp’ from the World Travel and Tourism Council. It was also named the ‘Gulf Tourism Capital’ for both 2020 and 2021 by the Gulf Cooperation Council.

With over 7,000 years of fascinating history, traditions and culture, Ras Al Khaimah promises an authentic and easily accessible Arabian experience. A haven of year-round sunshine, the Emirate features pristine beaches, lush mangroves and terracotta dunes, as well as fertile, green oases and the dramatic, awe-inspiring vistas of the majestic Hajjar mountains. From cultural escapes to eco-tourism and adrenaline-fueled adventures to beach retreats, Ras Al Khaimah caters to a full suite of travellers. The unique natural beauty of the Emirate, combined with its world-class tourism infrastructure and portfolio of global hospitality brands, makes it the perfect destination for both leisure and adventure travel as well as for business travellers.

About PATA
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for-profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its more than 650 member organisations, including 82 government, state and city tourism bodies, 14 international airlines and airports, 71 hospitality organisations and 75 educational institutions, as well as thousands of young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world. The PATA network also embraces the grassroots activism the PATA Chapters and Student Chapters, who organise numerous travel industry training programmes and business development events across the world. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 32 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 28 PATA Student Chapters globally. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing and London.

About Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA)
The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) was established in May 2011 under the government of Ras Al Khaimah. RAKTDA aims to develop the Emirate’s tourism infrastructure and establish Ras Al Khaimah as a world-class destination for leisure and business travel, creating sustainable investment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. In order to achieve its goals, the Authority has a government mandate to license, regulate and monitor the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality industry.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2022 Deferred

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World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2022 Deferred - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, December 21, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Economic Forum will defer its Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in the light of continued uncertainty over the Omicron outbreak.

The Annual Meeting was scheduled to take place in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland between 17-21 January, 2022. It is now planned for early summer.

Participants will instead join a headline series of State of the World sessions bringing together global leaders online to focus on shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Current pandemic conditions make it extremely difficult to deliver a global in-person meeting. Preparations have been guided by expert advice and have benefited from the close collaboration of the Swiss government at all levels.

Despite the meeting’s stringent health protocols, the transmissibility of Omicron and its impact on travel and mobility have made deferral necessary.

The health and safety of everyone involved in physical meetings – participants, collaborators and the host community – have always been the Forum’s priority.

“The deferral of the Annual Meeting will not prevent progress through continued digital convening of leaders from business, government and civil society,” said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “Public-private cooperation has moved forward throughout the pandemic and that will continue apace. We look forward to bringing global leaders together in person soon.”

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Ras Al Khaimah Host to Next International Start-up Innovation Camp and Summit

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Ras Al Khaimah Host to Next International Start-up Innovation Camp and Summit - TRAVELINDEXLucerne, Switzerland, December 20, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / World Tourism Forum Lucerne’s next International Start-up Innovation Camp & Summit will take place from 18-19 January 2022 in Ras Al Khaimah. The two-day event will include a series of private workshops (Camp) in addition to a public conference (Summit) with a line-up of insightful panel discussions. The aim of the event is to advance innovation for a more sustainable future in the tourism industry. Ras Al Khaimah, the most northerly Emirate, is considered as the fastest growing destination in the Middle East, placing great value on sustainability and innovation by implementing a number of progressive initiatives. For this reason, World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL) entered into a strategic partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) three years ago.

The strategic partnership with RAKTDA allows World Tourism Forum Lucerne to bring several of its industry initiatives, such as the Talent Boost, the Think Tank and the Start-up Innovation Camp & Summit to Ras Al Khaimah. “Innovations are a significant driver in the post-pandemic recovery phase. That’s why our initiatives aim to advance innovations in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector and facilitate a cross-industry dialogue”, explains Martin Barth, President and CEO of WTFL.

Raki Phillips, CEO of RAKTDA, added: “We are honoured to host the International Start-up Innovation Camp & Summit with World Tourism Forum Lucerne. This event comes at a pivotal time as we focus on becoming a regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025. Our culture of innovation, resilience and being a first mover in many areas makes us the perfect destination to foster the growth of start-ups within the Emirate. We look forward to welcoming innovators and investors who will drive positive change in sustainability across the industry.”

Continuous Start-up Screening
Through its continuous screening of start-ups over the years, WTFL has built up a unique start-up network and holds regular national and international Start-up Innovation Camps. Furthermore, with its Dealflow Tool, WTFL has created a digital platform that makes it even easier to connect young talents with the expertise of industry professionals, investors and CEOs. In the tourism industry, it’s innovative business models, agile thinking and strong partnerships form the foundations of tomorrow’s success stories.

International Industry Network
Twelve start-ups were chosen from over 400 applicants and given the unique opportunity to participate in the two-day Start-up Innovation Camp. In addition to receiving personal coaching sessions, the start-ups also have the opportunity to present their business models to the jury, an audience of international guests and interested investors. The best start-ups from the four categories Destination, Hospitality, Mobility and Transaction will also be awarded a cash prize and invited to join World Tourism Forum Lucerne’s start-up network.

Sign up for free today: Be there in person when the industry’s best start-ups present their business models and watch exciting panels Start-up Innovation Summit at DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah on 19th January 2022 from 2pm.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Moving Forward Innovation Festival in Andermatt Points to Future for Tourism

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Moving Forward Innovation Festival in Andermatt Points to Future for Tourism - - TRAVELINDEXAndermatt, Switzerland, November 17, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / While the travel and tourism sector is gradually picking up speed again, the stakeholders in this business are keen to use its current momentum to examine the sector critically; they want to think afresh about tourism and thus make it fit for the future. At the international World Tourism Forum Lucerne conference, top-level guests investigated the challenges currently facing the tourism industry and shone a light on new perspectives for the future. If this business sector is to stay successful, it must integrate its operations across a broad front and address the five key themes actively.

The travel industry came to a halt very abruptly, but it is now slowly recovering, presenting us with a chance to ask ourselves some long-overdue questions: do destinations really want to go back to overtourism? To overcrowded beaches and long queues waiting for popular attractions? To “insider tip-offs” that soon become Instagram hotspots and then lose their magic? Wouldn’t it be better to replace the “back to normal” slogan with the aim of “moving forward” – to take this opportunity by the scruff of its neck so that we can make up for lost time and correct the mistakes of the past?

  • Martin Barth, President & CEO of World Tourism Forum Lucerne: “We must look forward and find our opportunities in the crisis. How we deal with the challenges we face today will determine how successful we are in the future.”
  • Niall Ferguson, historian & bestseller author: “Compared to past pandemics, the current one is not quite as dramatic if we are looking at the number of deaths. However, the economic costs of the ongoing pandemic are significantly higher because working from home is a new phenomenon that led to a substantial economic crisis.”
  • Peter Fankhauser, Director PETRAF & Ex-CEO Thomas Cook: “You need the best people who are fitting perfectly to your culture, your value system, your team and to yourself. Do not underestimate the emotional factor and take care of those connections because that is what you are holding on to when you’re falling.”

Progress depends on a transfer of knowledge plus new and creative ideas; this will allow everyone to contribute their own specific talents and create networks for themselves – regardless of mental or physical impairments, gender, ethnicity or level of education. We must get rid of the prevailing stereotypes and embrace a more progressive understanding of organisational culture. All this calls for new, smart partnerships, joint initiatives and plans of action.

  • Aradhana Kowhala, CEO & Founder Aptamind Partners: “Despite increased awareness of gender imbalance, the number of women in the C-Suite and on boards hasn’t moved. We keep inching our way expecting breakthroughs but now it is time pair bold thinking with big commit­ments – show visible commitment and seek solutions that deliver exponential gains.”
  • Ulrich Bensel, Chief Human Resources Officer Deutsche Hospitality: “In the hospitality industry, we have left the composition of our workforce to chance until now. The goal must be for us to take a more structured approach to diversity within the company and consciously shape it with new tools. This will have a positive impact on performance.”

If we want to treat the natural wonders and mountain idylls advertised in our catalogues properly in future, we will have to put a higher priority once again on protecting the landscape than on maximising profit. We need clear sustainability strategies so that we can restore a healthy balance between People, Planet and Profit. As well as the financial and social aspect, we also need to think about “natural capital”. For example, our world is now more in need of new sustainability projects than hotel complexes.

  • Shannon Ghuian, Chief TreadRight & Sustainability Officer at TTC: “The very reason why we travel is at risk because we have taken it for granted. But the indication of behavioural change is twofold: We want to motivate people to come along with us on our biodiversity journey, yet we sell them holidays. We need to encourage them to take sustainability issues into consideration.”
  • Reto Ringger, Founder & CEO Globalance Bank: “Most people are confused and ask themselves whether their money and investments are part of the problem or part of the solution. What makes me optimistic is the next generation. With their small businesses and their willingness to use new technologies they are part of the solution.”

If the next generation gets a place at the table, we can complement our existing knowledge with new ways of thinking. Talented newcomers, young professionals and start-ups are increasingly laying claim to such places. They all think quickly and like to try out new ideas, and they can keep pace with the digitalised world. They are agile and they adapt to changing circumstances in the modern world – and they are the leading figures of the future. By promoting these people, we can join forces to prepare the tourism industry to face the future – and that will benefit us all. The WTFL has integrated three new universities into its partnership network in order to develop its talent promotion activities still further; it has also entered into a strategic cooperation project with GTTP (Global Travel & Tourism Partnership), which works vigorously to support new entrants into the tourism industry workforce in more than 16 countries. It also ensures that the sector becomes more attractive for the next generation.

  • Anne Lotter, Executive Director GTTP: “The collaboration with WTFL is warmly welcomed by the Global Travel & Tourism Partnership (GTTP). We will benefit at an organizational level from WTFL’s stakeholders, including contact with industry, education, and governments. For our younger generation of travel and tourism students the Innovation Festival is hugely inspiring. They get the opportunity to witness the next steps to take in their career and hear from top professionals as well.”

The tourism sector is often examined in isolation, but it is actually part of an economic, social and political system. Therefore, the tourism sector must integrate itself broadly into networks, look beyond its own boundaries and take advantage of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, which could create personalised travel experiences in real time, for example. These creative, innovative and disruptive business models are already available, as the World Tourism Forum Lucerne’s continuous Start-Up Screening has shown us. In order to promote this trend even more, the Forum brings highly successful sector experts, investors and young talents together at its Start-Up Innovation Camps around the world. The only way we can correct our course, set up the sector so that it can meet the needs of the future and play a leading role on innovation is if we work together.

  • Koen Deryckere, Lead Industry Networks and Programs at Accenture: “More and more companies are moving into other industries to provide end-to-end propositions. As a result, industry lines are blurring, and today’s technologies are the main driver and enabler for that.”
  • Stephanie Nägeli, Executive Board SV Group: “Revenues are sinking, but you have to continue to innovate. We need to ask ourselves: What are the opportunities in the crisis and how can we take these to accelerate disruption and to become more innovative.”

Like others, the international participants in the Think Tank also grappled with the major problems and current challenges facing the industry. They see the greatest potential for optimisation in three key areas for success in the tourism industry of the future: Health & Wellbeing, Climate & Sustainability and Social Equality & Diversity.

  • Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director Twenty14Holdings: “The WTFL is a much-needed event in these challenging times to bring together the entire travel and tourism fraternity to deliberate on the sector’s quick recovery, and shape constructive dialogue around the evolving face of tourism through sustainable, inclusive and connected experiences. The ongoing pandemic has caused several shocks to the travel supply chain, and it is important for new ideas to emerge and take concrete shape through adequate industry support, for the sector to contribute to livelihood creation and socio-economic development worldwide.”

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

UNWTO Highlights Gastronomy Tourism as Driver of Rural Development

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UNWTO Highlights Gastronomy Tourism as Driver of Rural Development

Bruges, Flanders, Belgium, November 3, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Some of the world’s top chefs joined restaurateurs and local and regional leaders to advance gastronomy tourism as a driver of rural development and opportunity.

The 6th edition of the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, held in Bruges, Flanders (Belgium, 31 October to 2 November), focused on the sector’s unique ability to support rural businesses, create jobs and protect and promote culture and heritage. For the first time, the Forum, organized by UNWTO and the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) included a special session dedicated to African Gastronomy, recognizing its potential as a tool of socio-economic development and for helping destinations across the continent enhance their distinct branding and market themselves to new audiences. The session concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between UNWTO and Chefs in Africa.

Gastronomy tourism adds vitality to rural communities, supports small, local food producers and strengthens their position in the market

Opening the Forum, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Gastronomy tourism adds vitality to rural communities, supports small, local food producers and strengthens their position in the market contributing to add value to the tourism experience while promoting the preservation and development of local produce and know how.”

Joxe Mari Aizega, General Manager of the Basque Culinary Center, said: “Gastronomy tourism offers a unique opportunity to promote economic growth of rural communities. It is a way of involving the various agents of the gastronomy value chain, and promoting economic and social development from farm to table.”

Flemish Minister Matthias Diependaele said : “With the gastronomy and tourism sectors at a turning point, we believe it is necessary to move towards gastronomy tourism with added value for our destinations, our residents, our local entrepreneurs as well as the visitors. We are happy to have come together with leaders from all over the world to exchange experiences and get inspired to poise the way towards a sustainable future for the gastronomy tourism sector.”

The Mayor of Bruges Dirk De fauw added : “I am very honoured that our city was chosen to be the host city for this important congress on tourism gastronomy.  Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Bruges opted for a sustainable tourism story in which we explicitly opt for ‘better’ rather than for ‘more’. A positive and sustainable story which we write together with our visitors, residents and entrepreneurs.”

To ensure that gastronomy tourism can grow as a driver of rural development, participants recognized the need to strengthen coordination between tourism, agricultural and rural development policies at the global, national, and local levels. Alongside this, the forum also focused on best ways of designing gastronomy tourism strategies and practices that ensure the sustainable use of resources, the promotion of local products and know-how, and on responsible consumption.

Also in Bruges, UNWTO showcased the talented entrepreneurs who are rising to the challenges posed by the Sustainable Development Goals through innovation along the gastronomy tourism value chain. Selected startups focused on taking climate action, reducing waste, creating sustainable communities, protecting ecosystems, amongst others, pitched their ideas to the Forum’s participants.  The startups included Faroo (Italy), Rutopia (Mexico), Apadrina un Olivo (Spain), Katla Aero (Sweden) and KITRO (Switzerland).

The next edition of the Forum will be held in Nara, Japan in 2022.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Sustainable First Signs Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism as Launch Partner

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Sustainable First Signs Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism as Launch PartnerLondon, United Kingdom, November 2, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Sustainable First announced today that it has become a signatory and launch partner of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.

The Declaration unites travel and tourism behind a common set of pathways for climate action, aligning the sector with global commitments and catalysing collaborative solutions to the many challenges facing businesses and destinations globally.

The Glasgow Declaration will be officially launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) on the 4th of November 2021 and encourages the acceleration of climate action in tourism by securing commitments to reduce emissions in tourism by at least 50% over the next decade, and achieve Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.

“The time for climate action is now and everyone in the industry has an important role to play. We work closely with the brilliant UNWTO and UNEP team that lead the One Planet Network programme and are thrilled to be launch partners of this important initiative.

The message is clear, we need a unified approach from the sector in order to accelerate climate action and therefore we extend the invitation to every tourism Business, Destination or Supporting Organisation to join us signing the Declaration and be a part of the solution.” said Mafalda Borea, CEO of Sustainable First.

The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism brings together the latest research and global expertise to galvanise climate action. It will be hosted within the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme’s website, supported by Recommended Actions for tourism stakeholders across the world to consider as part of their action planning, alongside other resources. As the declaration states: “A just transition to Net Zero before 2050 will only be possible if tourism’s recovery accelerates the adoption of sustainable consumption and production, and redefines our future success to consider not only economic value but rather the regeneration of ecosystems, biodiversity and communities.”

The need for a globally consistent approach for climate action in tourism has been made clear, notably through research into CO2 emissions carried out by UNWTO/ITF  and released at the UNFCCC COP25 in December 2019. This showed that transport-related emissions from tourism were forecast to increase by 25% by 2030 from 2016 levels, against the current ambition scenario. One  Planet  Vision  for  a  responsible  recovery  of  the  tourism  sector

In  2020, the One Planet Vision for a Responsible Recovery of the Tourism Sector  was  adopted  with  the aim  of  emerging  from  the  COVID-19 crisis both  stronger  and  more  sustainable.  Climate  action  is  a  central element  of  the  Vision,  which  calls  for  monitoring  and  reporting  CO2  emissions  from  tourism,  promoting the introduction of science-based targets, accelerating the decarbonisation of tourism operations, and engaging the tourism sector in carbon removal.

About  Sustainable First
Sustainable First is a sustainable tourism platform that features truly sustainable tourism destinations, accommodations & businesses and links the impact their initiatives have in their local communities to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals they are working towards.

Sustainable First inspires actions and strategies for moving towards a more sustainable pattern of development in tourism providing prosperity and opportunities for all. #BeSustainableFirst

About  the  One  Planet  Network  Sustainable  Tourism Programme
The  One  Planet  Sustainable  Tourism Programme  has  the  overall  objective  to  enhance  the  sustainable development impacts of the tourism sector by 2030,  by  developing,  promoting  and  scaling  up  sustainable consumption  and  production practices  that  boost  the  efficient  use  of natural  resources  while  producing less  waste  and  addressing  the  challenges  of  climate  change,  loss  of  biodiversity  and  pollution.  The Sustainable  Tourism  Programme  is  part  of  the  One  Planet  network,  a  multi-stakeholder  partnership  to implement  SDG  12  on Sustainable  Consumption and  Production.

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First published at – Global Travel News