Never a dull moment
IHAD expected to be bored and stressed during the two-day World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Bangkok last week. Bored because I’m not one who likes to be indoors especially during my travel assignments. And stressed because this would be my first assignment covering such serious event and nothing like my usual travel assignments that only require my senses to absorb the sights, sounds and energy.
So yes, it was stressful as I had to revert to my news writing skills — record, note and report — which I have left so many years ago.
But luckily I was never bored as the summit was packed back-to-back with interesting topics presented by A-listers from global tourism players.
The annual-event had gathered over 1,000 of the world’s most senior executives from travel and tourism’s public and private sectors which include ministers from 13 nations, industry CEOs and internationally recognised thought leaders in the fields of conservation, security, finance and technology.
Among them were our very own
AirAsia chief executive officer Tan Sri
Tony Fernandes, former Prime Minister of the United
Cameron, Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya and
Jamaica’s Edmund Bartlet, among others.
Topics presented were mainly serious stuff that covered issues on safety and security, openness and accessibility, the effect of globalisation on the industry and its sustainability.
Yes, it was serious and a bit of a yawn but sitting there at Bangkok Convention Centre made me realise that all my fun and adventurous travel assignments, and your exciting holidays, are made possible by these people — the thinkers and policymakers.
As serious as it was, first time Aseanhost Thailand couldn’t hold herself from injecting her unique Thai culture and grace by throwing an upbeat but elegant opening dance before Thai Prime Minister General The opening act of the 17th World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.
Prayut Chan-o-cha took the stage for his opening remarks.
The showcase then continued with a culturally-rich gala dinner which was specially designed to showcase Unique Local Thai Experiences, the country’s tourism campaign.
“There are many elements that we can learn from Thailand. They’ve have organised the event professionally. It looks simple but is efficient and smooth” said Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin who also attended the summit.
“We’ve been told that Malaysia is a good, professional event organiser. That alone is a good selling point. And yes, we welcome the ideas to host such a global event,” she said.
And yes, as a host, Bangkok did a very good job, taking every detail into consideration. What impressed me the most was the
halal food served throughout the two days. In fact, most of us were put at hotels that have halal-certified restaurants. Now, that’s what I call a job well done!
I can already imagine how Malaysia will host the annual World Travel & Tourism Council’s Global Summit — a colourful Malaysian welcome dance at the opening ceremony and an unforgettable gala dinner that will serve exotic Malaysian cuisine and another round of cultural shows.
And we have the infrastructure — superb convention venues such as the Putrajaya International Convention Centre or Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, good fivestar hotels, smooth traffic network and of course, our unique Malaysian culture.
So, let’s pray that we will get our chance to show the industry’s who’s who how the summit is held Malaysian style.