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October 19, 2018

The day before ITB Berlin: IHIF and WTTC in the spotlight


The Intercontinental Hotel in Berlin was in the spotlight yesterday one day before the opening of  ITB 2018 in German’s capital Berlin.

Over 80 hotel company, mostly presented by their CEO’s, attended the  International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF 2018) yesterday at the hotel. This represents the highest number of hotel company CEOs to attend the event in its 21-year history.

New topics covered in special focus breakout: F&B, Serviced Apartments, Resorts, Security & Crisis Management, Wellness, Innovative Deal Structures.

Special focus on key regional markets: Germany, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Asia, Middle East & Africa.
New Hotel Tech Hub: an area dedicated to teaching the industry about technology, and an opportunity for technology providers to educate the influential IHIF audience about tech products and services.

After this hotel forum, Gerald Lawless, the outgoing Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council was the proud host of the WTTC network cocktail and invited members to the 6th floor of the hotel to his presidential suite for a pre-ITB networking cocktail.

He thanked attending delegates for their support. After a successful term, Mr. Lawless will be replaced as Chairman at the upcoming WTTC Summit in Buenos Aires next month. Members were given an opportunity in Berlin for private fellowship and networking.

UNWTO Secretary-General Mr.Zurab Pololikashvili  did not attend. He attended and spoke at the ITB Opening event hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He spoke at the event and said:
Chancellor Merkel,
Governing Mayor Müller,
Dr. Frenzel,
Dr. Goeke,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Guten Abend.

It is an honour to be with you today.
I wish to thank ITB for its continuous contribution to the development of the tourism sector.

Ladies and gentlemen,
We gather at a time when a record number of tourists are travelling around the world.
International tourist arrivals grew by 7% in 2017, to reach 1.3 billion. This is an all-time record.
Today, 10% of the world’s GDP, 10% of the world’s jobs, and 7% of the world’s total exports come from tourism.
These are naturally very good news for our economies and our societies.
Yet, besides consolidating the growth of our sector, we need to grow better.
We need to turn these big figures into benefits to all people and all communities, leaving no one behind.
We need to decouple growth from resource use. Place Climate Change at the heart of our agenda.
We need to use the power of technology to make tourism smarter, more competitive and more responsible.
We need to make tourism a leading sector in the road to 2030 and the achievement of our common goals – the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Ladies and gentlemen,
I took office only two months ago.
It is with a sense of pride and humility that I assume my post as Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization for the period 2018-2021.
Tourism’s sustained growth brings immense opportunities for economic welfare and development.
Yet, it also brings in many challenges.
Adapting our sector to the challenges of safety and security, to constant market changes, to digitalization and the limits of our natural resources should be priorities in our common action.

In this vein, I propose that we as a sector stand together to address the following priorities:
1. Education and Job creation
2. Innovation and technology
3. Safety and Security; and
4. Sustainability and Climate Change

To do so we need to:
1. Embrace a digital tourism sector
2. Adapt to new business models
3. Better manage tourism growth
Someone said there is no “overtourism, only under management”
4. Invest in education and skills development

Dear Friends
Ladies and gentlemen,
If we are to address these issues we have to strengthen public/private cooperation as well as public/public coordination.
I wish to promote what I would call a tourism alliance:

• between ministries,
• local administrations,
• private sector,
• technology partners,
• and so many others on the wide-reaching tourism value chain.

UNWTO is ready to support and work with you to make this happen.
Together we can translate tourism growth into more investment, more jobs and better livelihoods.
Together we can make tourism a sector that protects our environment, our cultures and our people.
As Chancellor Merkel said addressing the tourism industry leaders last year, “you are all development helpers”.
We count on your support and partnership and look forward to working together for a more competitive and responsible tourism sector.

Thank you.

Anita Mendiratta  brought  the Hon. Rania Al-Mashat , the first female minister of tourism from Egypt to the WTTC presidential suite event. The minister posed for a photo opportunity with the outgoing  WTTC chairman but did not address the audience and also leaving for the ITB opening event.

Mr. Lawless the  former Group Chief Executive Officer of Jumeirah Group and now Head of Tourism and Hospitality at Dubai Holding, is a leading figure in the world of tourism and hospitality.

In his 18 years as CEO of Jumeirah Group, he spearheaded the growth of the hotel chain to one of the best-known luxury hospitality brands in the world, expanding the company’s portfolio to 22 hotels in 11 destinations and establishing Burj Al Arab Jumeirah as the most luxurious hotel in the world. Gerald has been a Member of the World Travel & Tourism Council since 2005, sitting on the Executive Committee since 2008, and as Vice Chairman since 2012.

 

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