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Hundreds of the foremost business leaders, government ministers and key decision-makers in the global tourism sector will meet face-to-face this weekend for the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Global Summit 2021.

Under the theme ‘Uniting the World for Recovery,’ the event is positioning itself as the first-time global tourism event where leaders will have gathered together since the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the sector from March last year.

WTTC has ensured strict world-class health and hygiene protocols are in place to protect participants, with testing available for delegates for the duration of the Summit.

Key private and public sector leaders will meet at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico, with thousands expected to join virtually.


They will discuss their experiences and share best practice on topics from kickstarting recovery in the tourism sector to how to enhance sustainability and inclusivity.

The summit will act as the platform for recovery and will be the place where a roadmap will be defined to take the sector towards restarting international travel and existing in the new normal.

WTTC will also launch a major ‘Women’s Initiative’ to work towards removing existing barriers for women within the sector and to implement initiatives for greater success for women.

Delegates will also discuss digital and touchless technologies that will become a major force post Covid-19 and be critical to ensuring a safe and seamless traveller journey.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC chief executive, said: “The WTTC Global Summit is the most important event in the calendar as we bring together, for the first time since the pandemic outbreak, the cream of the tourism sector.

“The most influential leaders from both the private and public sectors will meet face-to-face for the first time in nearly a year as we begin a new chapter in the sector’s post-pandemic recovery.

“More than ever, as governments begin to re-open their economies, it is vital we share knowledge and best practice among travel leaders and political leaders to navigate our way to a responsible recovery.”

Keynote speakers include the president of Colombia from 2010-2018, Juan Manuel Santos; tennis legend and advocate for women’s issues and the environment, Martina Navratilova; tourism minister of Greece, Harry Theocharis; tourism minister of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Al Khateeb; Chris Nassetta, chief executive of Hilton and WTTC; and Arnold Donald, chief executive of Carnival Corporation.

Also among those attending are leaders from Marriott International; IHG Hotels & Resorts; Iberostar; Expedia; Google; American Express; Airbnb; Japan Airlines and TUI.

In addition, leaders from the Travel Corporation; Abercrombie & Kent; Royal Caribbean Cruises; Silversea Cruises are speaking in high-profile debates as well as over 20 government delegations led by tourism ministers, such as Mexico; Colombia; Spain; Greece; Portugal; Saudi Arabia; Panama; the United Kingdom; France; the Philippines and the United States.