Disruption and reinvention to set tone for WTTC’s Global Summit 2015 in Madrid

Malek Nejjai

Chief Diversity Officer, Amadeus IT Group

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Madrid Mayor Ana Botella with Alex Luzarraga, VP Corporate Strategy, Amadeus

Coined by the Spanish authorities as the Davos for the Travel and Tourism industry, the World Travel & Tourism Council’s(WTTC) 15th Global Summit will be held in Madrid, Spain, on 15th and 16th April this year; returning to Europe after the recent editions were held in Las Vegas, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, and Hainan.

WTTC is a global forum whose members are the top decision makers in the Travel & Tourism sector. It includes around 150 Chief Executives, Presidents and Chairs of companies from all industries in the travel and tourism industries. Every year, WTTC’s members generate one third of a billion dollars in the travel industry.

Travel and tourism is of strategic importance as one of the world’s largest sectors, supporting 266 million jobs and generating 9.5% of global GDP while it strives to break down the barriers hampering industry growth. As a key technology player in the industry, Amadeus has been an active member of WTTC since 1990, participating in three key areas: freedom to travel, policies for growth, and tourism for tomorrow; and is a prime sponsor of the Madrid Global Summit 2015.

The event presentation to media was held at the emblematic Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid and included key personalities from the Spanish Government, Ana Botella, Mayor of Madrid and Isabel Mariño, Counsellor  for Employment, Tourism and Culture of the Madrid Regional Government.

Chaired by David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC, the event was co-hosted by key senior executives of the Spanish Travel & Tourism sector such as  Luis Gallego, President & CEO Iberia; Hugo Rovira, Director General and Alfonso de Poyo, VP Melia Hotels. Amadeus was represented byAlex Luzarraga, VP Corporate Strategy who gave a brief speech on the importance of the sector to the economy, the position of Amadeus in helping shape the future of travel by working hand in hand with partners and the crucial role of technology in staying at the forefront of the industry.

According to recent WTTC data, 2014 was a great year for the world travel and tourism industry, which registered 3.6% growth, accounted for seven billion dollars in contributions to the global economy and created ten million additional jobs.

The Madrid edition will bring together over 900 leaders from all regions and geographies of the private and public sectors to debate the challenges facing the industry and how we can respond to the new landscape. The location is even more relevant, as Spain is amongst the top tourism destinations in the world, where travel and tourism represents over 15% of the national GDP, employs 2.7 million people, representing 1 out of 6 jobs in the country, according to WTTC data.

At the event in April, Former European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso’s speech will focus on Europe’s economics and politics of the past, present and future and the challenges facing the travel and tourism industry in the new political landscape. Other keynote speakers include Luis Gallego, CEO Iberia, Luis Maroto President & CEO Amadeus IT Group, and Federico González Tejera, CEO NH Hotel Group amongst others.

Stay tuned to this blog and our social media channels for extensive coverage of this important event.