The FINANCIAL — Madrid, Spain, September, 2018 – Investment in innovation and smart management for tourism will form the major theme of the Ministerial Summit of this year’s World Travel Market, to be held in London, UK (6 November 2018). The 2018 Summit, a joint initiative of World Travel Market and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), will debut a revamped format.
This year’s World Travel Market (WTM) will introduce a disruptive new format to the long-running UNWTO/WTM Ministerial Summit. With the private sector crucial in setting the tourism agenda, private sector leaders will be involved for the first time via a panel on investment in tourism technology. This will be followed by a round table of both ministers and private sector to discuss a way forward for tourism that includes stronger public-private partnerships and an agenda for the sector’s digital transformation.
The 2018 Summit will be hosted by CNN’s Richard Quest, anchor of Quest Means Business. Developing an innovation ecosystem, data-driven decision making, digital destination branding, and the role of government and policy in smart tourism management are among the topics to be addressed this year.
The Summit reflects on a hyper-connected and informed world where tourists are one click away from their next destination and share their interests and emotions in real-time – and where technological advances have an exponential impact on management efficiency and sustainability. It will expand its practical impact with a focus on creating and exchanging innovative ideas and partnerships that can boost investments in tourism technology.
The Summit will continue the conversation on ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation’ that is set to dominate proceedings for this year’s World Tourism Day official celebration on Thursday 27 September. The event, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, will feature sessions on the role of innovation and technology in tourism development. It will also see the announcement of the semi-finalists of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition, launched by UNWTO and Globalia to give visibility to tourism startups with innovative and disruptive ideas.