Bangkok, 26 January, 2017 – Thailand aims to impress the world with its unique local experiences and attract investment as ASEAN’s gateway by showcasing the kingdom to tourism leaders attending the World Travel and Tourism Global Summit (WTTC) 2017, to be held from 26-27 April in Bangkok. It is the first time that this event has been hosted in Southeast Asia, and Mr. David Cameron, former Prime Minister of the UK, will address the conference, alongside other influential speakers from world leading tourism organisations.
H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanvrangkul, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “Thailand was chosen to host this influential event, as the WTTC recognises how tourism has benefitted the Thai people at all levels of society. The Summit will allow leaders in the world’s tourism industry to experience the kingdom’s unique hospitality and to appreciate the ultra-modern conference facilities of Bangkok’s hotels and meeting venues. Also, I believe that this event will generate a valuable outcome and encourage investment not only to Thailand, but also other countries in ASEAN.”
According to Mr. David Scowsill, WTTC President & CEO, there are many reasons that Thailand has been chosen to host the WTTC Global Summit 2017 in Bangkok, but one of the most important is the way that tourism has contributed to improving the people’s lives in Thailand.
“The Thai government’s willingness to invest in tourism infrastructure, and the ability of the kingdom’s tourism industry to bounce back after setbacks was also a factor. Thailand was also cited as a nation, which was able to market itself successfully as a tourism destination to people across the world and keep them coming back time after time,” Mr Scowsill said.
The WTTC Global Summit 2017, to be held at the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, will recognise leaders in their field addressing a range of issues, including the future of travel and tourism as globalisation is called into question; the impact of security threats and climate change on the right and ease of ability of people to travel; the constraints to increased connectivity and infrastructure development in the ASEAN region, and the innovations, which will enable travel and tourism growth over the coming decades.
Sessions will also include a discussion on digital borders, and how to balance security with travel facilitation; the growing internationalisation of Chinese tourism, both in terms of acquisitions and outbound travellers; how the sector can balance projected growth with protecting destinations, and future trends in business and luxury travel.
Speakers include influential figures from travel and tourism and other sectors including, Professor Ian Goldin, Oxford Martin School; Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, World Tourism Organisation; H. E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul; Minster of Tourism and Sports of Thailand; Mr. Tony Fernandes, AirAsia CEO; Mr. Robert Jensen, CEO, Kenyon International Emergency Services, and Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of TAT, said that “We are delighted to be welcoming the WTTC delegates to Thailand, one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and in particular to Bangkok. The WTTC Global Summit will be another event that reinforces the country’s image as a ‘Preferred Destination” that we are able to offer to various kinds of markets including offering business opportunities and leisure alike. Moreover, the event reflects the potential to cater many more international conferences in the future.”
WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards will also be presented during the Summit on 27 April, showcasing the leaders in sustainable tourism in 2017.
Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications said, “Apart from joining the WTTC sessions, delegates will get the chance to enjoy some of the many experiences Thailand offers which are unique to the kingdom. TAT has designed a number of unique trips for the Summit’s delegates that would give them the chance to experience the rich variety of Thai culture during their stay.”
Delegates attending the WTTC Summit will have the chance to take a tour to enjoy unique Thai experiences; such as, classes in Thai cooking at the Blue Elephant Cooking School or a trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market where they can experience Thailand’s rustic traditions and culture.
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