Ministers and industry bosses unite to plan travel’s recovery

Tourism ministers and industry executives from around the world will take part in a major two-day investment conference to promote the recovery of travel.

The International Tourism & Investment Conference (ITIC) is taking place alongside WTM Virtual on November 9 and 10, with the mission statement of ‘Invest, Finance & Rebuild The Travel & Tourism Industry’.

Simon Press, WTM Senior Exhibition Director, said: “ITIC is a crucial and prestigious element of WTM Virtual, as we bring together powerful politicians, industry leaders, health experts, top academics and important investors to guide our sector’s revival.

“Investment in tourism will create new jobs and economic growth and the ITIC event will facilitate vital financial and business partnerships that will pave the way for innovation and recovery.”

The event starts at 16:15 on Monday 9 November with the ITIC – Tourism Investment Ministerial Panel, moderated by BBC presenter Rajan Datar.

The hour-long session, called Rethinking the Global Travel & Tourism Industry, will discuss ways to nurture innovation and investment to rebuild destinations.

Speakers include the tourism ministers of Jamaica, Kenya and Jordan – Edmund Bartlett, Najib Balala and Nayef Al-Fayez – along with Elena Kountoura MEP, a member of the European Parliament’s Tourism Task Force.

The main investment summit takes place during Tuesday 10th November, alongside a virtual exhibition which can be visited from 10:00-19:45.

Ibrahim Ayoub, Group CEO & MD of ITIC and organiser of this virtual summit added: “The primary goal of this conference is to bring together tourism ministers, health expert, tourism leaders and operators and investors in an open dialogue, under one roof to discuss and consider financial solutions and preparedness to reopen the tourism industry for a better future.”

Moderator Rajan Datar will launch the summit at 10:00, with Dr Taleb Rifai, Chairman of ITIC and former Secretary-General at UNWTO; Simon Press, WTM Senior Exhibition Director; and Ibrahim Ayoub, Group Chief Executive and Managing Director of ITIC & Invest Tourism Ltd.

Dr Taleb Rifai, Chairman ITIC and former Secretary-General UNWTO said: “Opportunity comes from all crisis and the ITIC Summit will be an opportunity to consider what the new world looks like. Investment is very important and COVID made it essential for destinations and private companies. We cannot underestimate the impact of investment and sign of confidence.”

The morning sessions will be:

10:00 – Welcome

  • Rajan Datar, Presenter and Broadcaster, BBC
  • Dr. Taleb Rifai Chairman of ITIC & Former Secretary-General UNWTO,
  • Simon Press Senior Exhibition Director, WTM,
  • Ibrahim Ayoub Group CEO & MD ITIC & Invest Tourism Ltd

10:05 – 10:20 – Current Economic Outlook, predictions and recovery plan for 2021.

  • Professor Ian Goldin, Professor of Gobalisation and Development, Oxford University

10:20-10:35 – Shaping the future of aviation and its projection by 2025

  • Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates.

10:35 – 10:45 – Keynote Speech

  • Mahmoud Abdulhadi, Deputy of Investments – Ministry of Tourism, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

10:45-11:15 – The future of tourism in the green economy

  • Jordan’s Tourism Minister, Nayef Al-Fayez
  • Gloria Guevara, Chief Executive of the World Travel & Tourism Council

11:15-12:00 – Health: dealing with COVID-19 and how we restore travellers’ trust and confidence to rebuild business. The New Normal: Learning to live, travel, work and play despite COVID-19.

  • Moderated by Rajan Datar
  • Simon Vincent, President EMEA, Hilton;
  • EMEA, Filipe Silva, Board Member, Turismo de Portugal I.P.
  • Professor Heymann David, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, LSHTM and Head of the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House
  • Ambassador Dho Young-Shim, South Korea and Tom Jones, Senior Partner, Finn Partners

12:00-12:15 –  Understanding the financial mechanisms that allow you to survive and rebuild. 

  • Rajan Datar – BBC with Nicolas Mayer, Global Tourism Leader, PWC

12:15 – 12:30 – One-to-One interview with Majed AlGhanim, Managing Director, Tourism. Quality of Life – Ministry of Investment, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Rajan Datar, BBC

12:30-13:15 – Analysing the challenges and investment opportunities in the aviation sector.

  • Moderated by Vijay Poonoosamy, Director International and Public Affairs of QI & former VP, Etihad Airlines.
  • Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive of Ethiopian Airlines
  • Said Samih Darwazah, Chairman and Chief Executive of Royal Jordanian Airlines.

13:15 – 13:30 – Video Presentations and Coffee Break

The afternoon sessions will be:

13:30- 14:15 – Special focus on the Middle East market: Investment opportunities in sustainable travel and tourism.

  • Moderated by Gerald Lawless, Director ITIC and WTTC Ambassador
  • Hon. Nayef Al-Fayez, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan,
  • H.E Avedis Guidanian, Former Minister of Tourism, Lebanon,
  • Haitham Mattar, CEO, Beyond Tourism,
  • H.E Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal. Executive Chairman of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority Shurooq and
  • Hammad Al Balawi, General Manager of Investments – Ministry of Tourism, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

14:15-14:45 – Investing in Africa: Tourism an important pillar for African development.

Moderated by Mark Beer, Chairman of Metis Institute, the speaker will be Najib Balala, Minister of Tourism, Kenya AND Nick Barigye, Chief Executive Officer, Rwanda Finance Limited.

14:45-15:15 – Looking at the economic impact of current investment trends in airports.

  • Hosted by Peter Greenberg, CBS News.

15:15-15:45 – How investment in travel and tourism sector can drive growth and cooperation within the Commonwealth countries.

  • Hon. Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Tourism, South Africa
  • Memunatu B. Pratt, Minister of Tourism, Sierra Leone
  • Mobin Rafiq, Founder and President of the Commonwealth Entrepreneur Club
  • Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Tourism, South Africa

15:45: – 16:00 – How to attract China outbound investment and tourism during and post Covid-19.

Presentation by Marcus Lee, Chairman of Association of SME Business owners in China

16:00 -16:15 – Coffee Break & Video Presentations

16:15- 17:00 – Challenges and opportunities for mergers and acquisitions in the Post-COVID stage.

  • Moderator: Ibrahim Osta, Chief of Party, USAID, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Video presentation by Duma Wang, CEO, Hiseas International Travel Group, China
  • Nicolas Mayer, Global Tourism Leader, PWC
  • Michel Taride, Strategic Adviser & former President Hertz International
  • Kee Chong Lee Kwong Wing, Independent Director, AFREXIM Bank

17:00-17:45 – Investment opportunities: presentation of destinations and tourism projects in quest of investment

17:45-18:30 – Tourism resilience: how can you prepare for any future global catastrophe.

  • Moderated by Peter Greenberg, CBS News.
  • Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica
  • Nikolina Angelkova, former Minister of Tourism of Bulgaria
  • Dr Taleb Rifai
  • Christopher Rodrigues, WTTC Ambassador and Chairman of Port of London Authority
  • Raki Phillips, CEO, Ras  Al Khaimah Tourism Authority (RAKDA)

18:30-19:00 – Tourism job retention and job growth strategy.

  • Moderated by Nigel Fell, C-Suite leader and not-for-profit Board Advisor
  • Konrad Mizzi, former Minister of Tourism, Malta
  • Richard Hatter, General Manager, FIH Hotel
  • Judy Kepher-Gona, founder of Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda
  • Catheryn Khoo-Latimore, Associate Professor, Griffith University, Australia
  • Brian Mullis, Board member of Transformational Travel Council.

19:00- 19:30 – Recovery plan for a stronger digital travel and tourism industry post COVID-19 and beyond.

  • Moderated by Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Director eTourism Lab & Deputy Director, International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research, Bournemouth University Business School.
  • Jayant Kolla, Founder of Convergence Catalyst and Sensate Technologies
  • Cuthbert Ncube, Chairman of African Tourism Board.

19:30-19:45 – Closing comments from Rajan Datar, Dr Taleb Rifai, Simon Press and Ibrahim Ayoub.