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.

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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