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August 17, 2018

Taleb Rifai and David Scowsill together again: AIRBNB loves it


The world travel and tourism dream team Taleb Rifai and David Scowsill are back together.

Both men became good friends and worked together constantly for many years when Dr. Taleb Rifai was the UNWTO Secretary-General, and David Scowsill the CEO of WTTC.

This time, both men joined the Tourism Advisory Board of AIRBNB.

Also, today, the current UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili and WTTC CEO Guevara Manzo pledged their support for each other at a press conference in Buenos Aires.

Zurab laid out recent developments for cooperation in Latin America. This was echoed with a billion-dollar cooperation in the private tourism industry reported by Gloria from WTTC. The winner seems to be Argentina tourism, the host of the ongoing WTTC Summit.

Many of the major or not so major hotels and hotel operators think AIRBNB is operating in the shadow of legality and are taking their business. Tax authorities around the globe are giving AIRBNB a hard time, but the online platform is doing fantastic and many travelers love to stay in private homes or apartments to get a personal tourism experience.

According to a notice published on the AIRBNB website:

Airbnb launched the Tourism Advisory Board made up of travel industry leaders from around the world as part of its Office of Healthy Tourism, an initiative to drive local, authentic, and sustainable tourism in countries and cities across the globe. The Tourism Advisory Board is comprised of four members who have set the tone for this dialogue during their years in the industry:

– Professor the Hon Bob Carr, the former Foreign Affairs Minister for Australia and former Premier of New South Wales

– Taleb Rifai, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization

– Rosette Rugamba, Managing Director of Songa Africa and Amakoro Lodge and former Director General of Rwanda Tourism and National Parks

– David Scowsill, Chief Executive of EON Reality Inc. and former President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council

The Tourism Advisory Board will help shape the company’s long-term vision and activities promoting healthy sustainable tourism and ensuring that as tourism grows, locals are the primary beneficiary.

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