The first major conference in the ‘new normal’ of the COVID-19 world will take place in Cancun, Mexico on 23-25 March 2021, hosted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, is once again hosting the most influential event in the Travel and Tourism calendar, to help lead the sector into recovery and restore millions of jobs around the world.
The WTTC Global Summit will take place in a hybrid format, observing all health and safety protocols.
The 20th WTTC Global Summit, delayed from Spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held in the popular Mexican resort of Cancun, in partnership with the Government of Quintana Roo, from March 23-25.
The hybrid format will include invitations to the live event, with restricted numbers and extensive outdoor sessions to ensure physical distancing.
Those unable to attend will be able to take part virtually, with up to 20,000 online free registrations available, enabling participants to listen to a range of specially invited international guest speakers headlining the event and engage in special breakout sessions.
World-leading hygiene and safety protocols will be in place throughout the Global Summit to ensure the health of every participant at the event, with testing and regular health checks, guided by the very latest medical and scientific advice.
Previous Global Summits have attracted some of the biggest international speakers in the world, including former US Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, former President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, and former President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.
During a joint press conference in Mexico City, Gloria Guevara President & CEO of WTTC and the Governor of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez, said that this innovative event will be conducted with responsibility and according to the ‘new normal’, and will become a platform for the recovery of the sector.
The Global Summit will take place at The Moon Palace Convention Centre. Jose Chapur, President of Palace Resorts Group, was present at the press conference, and thanked WTTC and the Government of Quintana Roo for their trust in holding the event at the venue.
The Palace Resorts Group holds the WTTC Safe Travels stamp and has been conducting the highest standards of hygiene and security since the beginning of the pandemic.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Every aspect of the 20th WTTC Global Summit is being explored to ensure it complies with the world’s best available health and hygiene protocols to show with best practice, how major conferences can be held safely and securely in the new normal.
“WTTC wants the Global Summit to learn from the challenges of the pandemic to showcase how we can use this experience to adapt to COVID-19, lead the global Travel and Tourism sector back to recovery and save millions of jobs – as well as thousands of businesses, large and small, which have been thrown into turmoil since the beginning of the year.
“The stakes in the Travel & Tourism sector could not be higher, so the WTTC platform provides an essential forum for the very highest industry leaders and key government representatives to discuss and take action.
“We must use the Global Summit to establish a consensus on international cooperation and coordination to accelerate the recovery, as well as public/private partnership and restore vital public confidence to travel safely once more. The 2020 Global Summit will benefit and showcase not only Mexico, but the wider regions of the US, Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez, Governor of Quintana Roo said: “The WTTC Global Summit in Cancun will be the place where we will discuss the future of tourism in the new world.
“During the Global Summit, we will implement enhanced safety and hygiene protocols such as mask wearing, physical distancing and sanitisation, along with fast turnaround testing, all of which will enable us to host a safe large-scale event.
“Today, Cancun Airport operates more than 300 daily flights and the R rate remains below one.”
WTTC, which will announce its major new initiatives for 2021 during the Summit, has been at the forefront of international efforts to save the Travel and Tourism sector, which has been ruined by the impact of COVID-19, leaving tens of thousands of businesses hanging in the balance and threatening the jobs of nearly 200 million people employed in the sector globally.
Just last week WTTC offered to work closely with the new incoming US administration to recover international travel through a five-point list of top priorities. This includes reopening borders, the adoption of a comprehensive and cost-effective global standard testing regime at airports, a commitment to seamless travel, the re-opening of essential ‘air corridors’ to resume key international business travel routes and re-establishing relations with countries around the world to ensure each is ‘open for business’.
Research from the 2019 WTTC Economic Impact Report revealed how Travel and Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million in total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.