The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced it will host its 22nd Global Summit in Saudi Arabia later this year.

At the closing session of its Global Summit in the Philippines last week, officials announced that this year’s event will take place in Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh, from November 29 to December 2.

More than a thousand delegates, including the world’s top business leaders, government ministers and key decision makers from across the global travel and tourism sector gathered together in Manila to discuss how to build upon the continuing recovery.

In her farewell address, WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson said: “It has been a privilege to bring together so many leaders from across the global Travel & Tourism sector to the beautiful city of Manila.

“This summit is living proof that nothing beats getting together, sharing ideas, debating the challenges, and finding consensus.

“We still have a lot of work to do to bring down post-pandemic barriers, open economies and harmonise health data for seamless travel. But the future looks bright, and the next decade is there for the taking.

“We look forward to our 22nd Global Summit later this year in Riyadh, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to mark the next chapter in the sector’s ongoing recovery.”

The WTTC will take place in Saudi Arabia in November 2022
The event will take place in November 2022. Credit: WTTC

Tourism ministers and travel and tourism leaders from around the world reinforced their determination towards greater cooperation and alignment between the public and private sectors under the theme of ‘Rediscovering Travel’.

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Board Member of the Saudi Tourism Authority, said: “We are excited to welcome the world to experience the excitement and the energy of Saudi. We promise you that the next summit will be fresh, inspiring, and rewarding.”

WTTC Global Summit in Manila

Attendees at the WTTC Global Summit in Manila explored how the sector will continue to adapt to Covid-19 and emerge resiliently from the pandemic at WTTC’s Global Leaders Dialogue session.

The council’s latest Economic Impact Report also revealed the Travel and Tourism sector was expected to create nearly 126 million new jobs within the next decade and Travel and Tourism’s contribution to GDP could reach pre-pandemic levels by 2023.

WTTC’s major ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’ sustainability initiative was launched at its Global Summit, providing a starting point to drive sustainability throughout the hospitality sector to power the momentum toward responsible Travel & Tourism.

The global body also launched its new cyber resilience report, ‘Codes to resilience’, with Microsoft, for the global Travel & Tourism sector, which outlined pillars to strengthen cyber security for businesses around the world.

British adventurer Bear Grylls was the conference keynote, alongside other major speakers, including American film producer Lawrence Bender, Singapore-born American novelist and writer of satirical novels Kevin Kwan and Indonesian/Dutch environmental activist Melati Wijsen.

WTTC reveals influx of global international inbound travel

The announcement of the next WTTC summit comes amid forecasts of a major increase in global international flight bookings as international travel takes off.

Forecasts by the WTTC and its knowledge partner ForwardKeys show strong recovery and booking bounce back as the world continues to reopen from the pandemic.

It highlights a promising prospect ahead for summer holiday travel, with sun and sea destinations such as the Caribbean and Latin America leading the international inbound bookings.

The countries leading the ranking of top 20 best performing destinations for the summer are Costa Rica, Aruba, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica, according to ForwardKeys leading travel and analytics company,

These destinations, which rely heavily upon international travel, lead the pack with bookings already surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Last year, the industry’s gradual recovery was significantly slowed by the surge in Omicron cases. However, the future is looking brighter for 2022 with positive booking data worldwide.

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