Sat. May 28th, 2022

The Philippines has successfully hosted the 2022 World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) summit, with zero incidences of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infection, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Friday.

(pna.gov.ph)

The hybrid event at the Marriott Hotel in Newport City gathered 1,200 local and foreign delegates, including the world’s foremost business leaders, government ministers, and key decision-makers in the tourism industry, surpassing the 600 initial estimates for in-person attendees.

On its virtual platform, some 10,000 participants attended the numerous panel talks that discussed the latest travel trends, sustainable investment prospects, regenerative tourism, and seamless travel in a pandemic era, among others.

“All the delegates, there were no complaints, entry was smooth. There were some medical emergencies but they were not Covid-related so at least it goes to show that we are going back to normal,” she told reporters in an ambush interview.

“On April 1, we re-opened to all countries and (now) we were able to stage a three-day global event successfully, more than a thousand people came, that itself is an achievement. At least during our time, we were able to do that,” she said.

WTTC president and CEO Julia Simpson said the summit in Manila was tangible proof that “nothing beats” discussing pressing issues and generally trying to find consensus face-to-face.

At WTTC’s Global Leaders Dialogue session, stakeholders explored how the sector could continue to adapt to Covid-19 and emerge resiliently from the pandemic.

“We still have work to do to bring down post-pandemic barriers, open economies, and harmonize health data for seamless travel. Sustainability hasn’t just been an item on this agenda, it’s been a major theme of the summit,” Simpson said.

During the closing ceremony, WTTC chairperson Arnold Donald announced that Saudi Arabia will host the 22nd WTTC Global Summit from November 29 to December 2, 2022.

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