Global Travel & Tourism Summit Kicks Off, Welcomes U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood

The Summit has officially begun.  WTTC’s President and CEO David Scowsill kicked off what will be a dynamic and powerful two days of discussions in the round. Key issues on the agenda include:

  • Fostering a new global mindset in which travel and tourism is a growth driver;
  • Investing in that growth and making travel more accessible in growing markets;
  • Optimizing the opportunities of business travel;
  • Harnessing the digital revolution to maximize developing technology;
  • Addressing how to expand the capacity of new demand sustainably; and
  • Better engaging with policymakers to ensure they understand the growth potential of travel and tourism. 

Finally, there will be a session focused on developing support and innovations for rebuilding travel and tourism in Japan in the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami.

As part of the opening session, Ken Chenault, Chairman of American Express in a taped message, said that “change is the only constant, and the pace of change is only accelerating.  Standing still is the same as moving backwards.”  His point is that it is imperative to innovate and reinvent yourself consistently to thrive in the marketplace.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood gave the morning’s first key note address – focusing on the U.S. investment in high-speed rail.  This investment will ensure that 80 percent of America will be connected by high-speed rail in the next 25 years.  With this $10-billion investment, he is pledging to keep up with European and Asian nations and strengthen U.S. competition for the future.  We’re sure to hear a global perspective on this topic later today when we focus more closely on the infrastructure needed to truly “power global growth.”

Join the dialogue by continuing to visit our blog throughout the next two days, or follow the Summit through our official twitter feed @WTandTC, using #WTTC2011.

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