Syn­ergy works at WTM Lon­don

The Min­is­ters’ Des­ti­na­tion In­vest­ment Sym­po­sium at WTM Lon­don will bring to­gether in­ter­na­tional in­vestors, gov­ern­ment min­is­ters and des­ti­na­tions to ex­plore pos­si­ble ways of work­ing in tan­dem with each other for growth of the global tourism econ­omy.

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The event is be­ing or­gan­ised in col­lab­o­ra­tion with In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel In­vest­ment Fo­rum Berlin (IHIF) and UN World Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion (UNWTO). Build­ing on WTM Lon­don’s ex­per­tise within the in­ter­na­tional travel in­dus­try and IHIF Berlin’s lead­er­ship in hos­pi­tal­ity in­vest­ment, the sym­po­sium is open to in­vestors, min­is­ters and their aides, city may­ors, tourism board direc­tors and se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials. At the event, two panel de­bates will take place – the In­vestors’ Panel and the Min­is­ters’ Panel – plus a key­note speech on sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. The In­vestors’ Panel will ex­plore what makes a des­ti­na­tion at­trac­tive to in­vestors and travel trends that will af­fect fu­ture in­vest­ment de­ci­sions. The Min­is­ters’ Panel will look at how gov­ern­ments work with the travel and hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor to make des­ti­na­tions suc­cess­ful, and it will con­sider is­sues such as in­fras­truc­ture, reg­u­la­tions and public-pri­vate part­ner­ships. Si­mon Press, Se­nior Di­rec­tor, WTM Lon­don, com­mented, “We’re very proud to be work­ing with IHIF Berlin and the UNWTO on th­ese im­por­tant ques­tions. IHIF Berlin is very in­flu­en­tial within the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try and to­gether with the UNWTO, our sym­po­sium can ad­dress cru­cial is­sues sur­round­ing the devel­op­ment of des­ti­na­tions, which in turn can gen­er­ate tremen­dous eco­nomic ben­e­fits and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties. High-level de­ci­sions about de­vel­op­ing des­ti­na­tions can com­mit mil­lions of pounds to long-term projects, so it’s cru­cial that in­vestors and min­is­ters have a fo­rum to dis­cuss trends and ideas, and net­work with each other.”

Also, how des­ti­na­tions mar­ket them­selves as so­cial me­dia grows in im­por­tance, will be a key topic at WTM Lon­don 2017. This dis­cus­sion is ex­pected to be cru­cial for mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als as the panel would dis­cuss the topic - ‘Is in­flu­encer mar­ket­ing the way for­ward for des­ti­na­tions?’ The fol­low­ing dis­cus­sions will look at the topic with a dif­fer­ent an­gle. ‘Why des­ti­na­tions have to change how they sell them­selves’ will ex­am­ine how Airbnb and Visit Swe­den have worked to­gether to pro­mote the coun­try. The panel will also show how Airbnb has launched Trips, which en­cour­ages ac­com­mo­da­tion own­ers to turn tour guide. The ses­sion will ask if this new col­lab­o­ra­tive model is the way for­ward.

Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence will also be a key topic where ex­perts will dis­cuss how AI has be­come more im­por­tant for the in­dus­try and how to use it to in­no­vate. The pro­gramme also in­cludes ses­sions on how so­cial me­dia can help World Her­itage Sites man­age tourism sus­tain­ably.

WTM Lon­don 2017 will also be a hotspot for de­bate in­formed by new re­search into a va­ri­ety of sec­tors. The lat­est trends in the travel and tourism in­dus­try will be un­veiled in the WTM 2017 In­dus­try Re­port. This an­nual re­port polls both mem­bers of the global in­dus­try and 1,000 UK hol­i­day­mak­ers to cre­ate an im­por­tant snap­shot of travel habits and in­ten­tions. The at­ten­dees will also be able to learn about the cities which are ex­pected to be travel stars for 2017, 2020 and 2025 as de­tailed in the WTM Lon­don Top 100 City Des­ti­na­tions Rank­ing Re­port, in­cor­po­rat­ing Global Travel Trends.

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