The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) confirmed that a substantial part of the 12th WTTC Global Summit will be held in Sendai, northeast Japan. It was announced in November that the summit would be held in Tokyo from April 16-19, 2012. However, just one week after the Host Committee for the summit had its first meeting, the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11.
WTTC and the Host Committee (chaired by Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman, Toshiba) have subsequently held many meetings and discussions on how best to support the recovery of Japan through tourism. WTTC President and CEO David Scowsill visited Sendai, the main city of the Tohoku region, which was most severely affected by the earthquake and tsunami, in June, to meet senior local government officials and to visit the affected areas.
The Global Summit, the pre-eminent event in the industry calendar each year, will be held in Tokyo from the evening of Tuesday, April 17 to the afternoon of Thursday, April 19, 2012, with over 1,000 participants expected to attend.
WTTC and the Host Committee have also agreed that the WTTC Annual General Meeting and Executive Committee meeting will be held in Sendai on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 together with an additional congress in Sendai, which will focus specifically on the recovery of Japan’s tourism industry, risk management, and crisis response. It is expected that some 400 delegates will attend the Sendai event – many will be international participants, especially from Asia.
David Scowsill, WTTC President and CEO, said:
“The recovery of Japan is one of the most compelling issues facing global travel and tourism. I’m delighted that we will be able to bring the industry’s leaders to Sendai during the summit week in 2012 as it sends a clear message about our commitment to showing that Japan in general and the Tohoku region in particular have recovered from the tragic events of March 11 and are ready to rediscover their position among the world’s premier tourism destinations.”