WTTC lauds PH hosting of Int'l Tourism Summit

Tourism Promotions Board

Posted at May 16 2022 01:26 PM

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat at the closing ceremony of the 21st Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Photo source: Tourism Promotions Board
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat at the closing ceremony of the 21st Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Photo source: Tourism Promotions Board

Leaders of the global tourism industry praised the Philippines' successful hosting of the 21st Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) as it closed with high hopes for an industry battered by two years of the health crisis.

''I am not often stumped for words, but I am now. Wow! What an amazing summit. We really have rediscovered travel,'' said Julia Simpson, President and CEO of the WTTC, who considered the ''extraordinary Philippine welcome'' as her personal highlight of the two-day summit. ''That warmth, that passion, that generosity, that smile. I have not walked out one corridor without people saying to me 'Good morning!' It is incredible. You live it. It is not a show – it really is in your DNA.''

In her closing speech, Simpson said that the success of the summit was a ''testament that the country's tourism industry is well on its feet.''

Julia Simpson, President and CEO of the WTTC, said that the success of the summit was a sign that tourism is back in the country. Photo source: Tourism Promotions Board
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of the WTTC, said that the success of the summit was a sign that tourism is back in the country. Photo source: Tourism Promotions Board

The summit, which gathered world leaders of the tourism industry, has given the Philippines the opportunity to showcase ''how beautiful the country is,'' Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said on Friday, April 22, 2022. She also mentioned that the Philippines is now a top-of-mind destination for delegates, many of whom had decided to stay to savor the rest of the country where ''we are setting an example of how to open safely.''

''This has been a wonderful global summit and, to echo your brand campaign, we certainly had lots of fun in the Philippines. This is an experience all the delegates of the Summit can definitely attest to,'' WTTC Chairman Arnold Donald said in his closing address.

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Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat meeting with global leaders in the travel and tourism industry. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat meeting with global leaders in the travel and tourism industry. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat meeting with global leaders in the travel and tourism industry. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat meeting with global leaders in the travel and tourism industry. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat meeting with global leaders in the travel and tourism industry. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat meeting with global leaders in the travel and tourism industry. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat meeting with global leaders in the travel and tourism industry. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat meeting with global leaders in the travel and tourism industry. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Gloria Guevara, the special advisor of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Tourism and former President and CEO of WTTC, said the Philippines ''has exceeded all of our expectations. Thanks to the leadership of Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat before and during the health crisis, the Philippines has been successfully repositioned as a top destination and she delivered an impactful summit. The Filipino hospitality has also made it memorable.''

WTTC Chairman Arnold Donald giving a speech. Photo source: Tourism Promotions Board
WTTC Chairman Arnold Donald giving a speech. Photo source: Tourism Promotions Board

The 21st World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit opened with the theme 'Rediscovering Travel.' Quite apt as 2022 has seen more borders reopening for tourism and more people eager to hop on a plane across the world. Business leaders, government representatives, and key decision-makers in the tourism industry discussed a wide array of topics during the three-day summit including new trends in travel and best practices for different businesses in the sector. 

Day 1 started by setting the scene and discussing what's the current status of the industry. The first panel discussion was titled Redefining Travel in a Changing World and opened up a discourse on how the industry can co-exist with the health crisis and steadily move towards recovery even when the virus is not yet completely eradicated. 

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Highlights from the first day of the summit. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Highlights from the first day of the summit. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Highlights from the first day of the summit. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Highlights from the first day of the summit. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Highlights from the first day of the summit. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Highlights from the first day of the summit. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Day 2 provided a platform for those who are passionate advocates for responsible tourism and a greener environment as it tackled topics such as sustainable tourism and regenerative travel. 

''Our destinations must not be allowed to go back to the old unsustainable ways of the past. Instead, we must move forward guided by strategic and evidence-based planning and aimed towards building further resilience,'' shared Puyat. 

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Speakers during the last day of the summit. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Speakers during the last day of the summit. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Speakers during the last day of the summit. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Speakers during the last day of the summit. Photo source: Philippines Department of Tourism

Puyat also thanked the delegates and participants for the success of the summit and for the outstanding commitment they have shown in support of the recovery and continued growth of the global travel and tourism industry.

She said that as the health crisis forced the global tourism industry to raise its game and change the way it gets things done, ''we have likewise put much effort into discerning the most effective combination between the enforcement of health and safety guidelines and personal convenience – the delicate balancing act of implementing measures to ensure everyone's safety without placing unreasonable burdens on the traveling public.''

''Our shared hopes and dreams for the future are reflected in the policies we have developed, and the measures we have put in place to plan and realize this sector's full and complete recovery,'' she added.

To watch the summit sessions, you may click this link for Day 1 and this link for Day 2. To know more about the World Travel and Tourism Council, visit its website. Stay updated on all things Philippine travel by following Tourism Promotions Board on Facebook.

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