Geoffrey Lipman, the President of the ICTP (International Coalition of Tourism Partners) and Chairman of the greenearth.travel was Chairman and Moderator of the two-day session of the 2013 Tourism Think Tank that preceded the World Tourism Forum Lucerne.
Twenty known and respected tourism professionals were invited by the World Tourism Forum Lucerne to meet and discuss two points seen as important tourism challenges to tackle prior to the 2013 World Tourism Forum: Hyperconnectivity and Bridging the Silos.
Represented governments at the Think Tank were the Minister for Tourism of South Africa, Mr. Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, and the Minister for Tourism and Culture from the Seychelles, Mr. Alain St.Ange. Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, represented the World Tourism Organization, and other tourism professionals from across the world at the Tourism Think Tank 2013 were Martin Barth, the General Manager of the World Tourism Forum; Thea Chiesa, the Director Head of Aviation, Travel and Tourism Industries from the World Economic Forum of Switzerland; Anita Mendiratta, the Lead Consultant of the CNN T.A.S.K. Group; Martin Craigs, the CEO of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA); Michael Frenzel from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TUI; Ian Goldin, the Director of the Oxford Martin School of the University of Oxford; Gloria Guevara Manzo, an industry expert and former Minister of Tourism from Mexico; Frank Kilbourn, the Chairman of the Board of the South African Tourism Board (SAT); Tom King, the Senior Vice President of British Airways; Nicholas Mayer, an industry leader for lodging & tourism clients from PricewaterhouseCoopers; Vijay Poonoosamy, the Vice President of International & Public Affairs at Etihad Airways; Christopher Rodrigues, the Chairman of VisitBritain; Jurg Schmid, the Director of Switzerland Tourism; Shaun Vorster, the Special Advisor to the Minister of Tourism of South Africa; Tom Windmuller, the Senior Vice President of the International Air Transport Association (IATA); Reto Wittwer, the President & CEO of the Kempinski Hotels; Jessica Bruns, a young mover & shaker from TUI Germany; Ryan George, a young mover & shaker from Simpleview USA; Oleg Kafarov, a young mover & shaker from Jumeirah Group in the United Arab Emirates; and Pascal Mathis, a young mover & shaker from GetYourGuide Switzerland.
An informal session opened the Tourism Think Thank 2013 where delegates discussed challenges they saw from their own perspectives and made propositions for discussion at the formal session of the Think Tank.
This session that went on until very late into the night is said to have been the opportunity for many a point to be seen by all, as real challenges were tabled and debated freely.
The second day’s meeting is said to have been a more formal setting where Michael Frenzel of WTTC and TUI made a presentation on Hyperconnectivity and Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk presented a paper on Bridging the Silos.
This session went for virtually a whole day with frank, intense and very open discussions. At the end of the day’s work, the decision is for tourism at large to see a united grouping of all tourism bodies to meet under the UNWTO to look at all the points discussed and seen as industry challenges.
UNWTO was asked to host a stakeholders meeting to consider how to better align fragmented initiatives to get governments to better recognize the value of tourism to jobs and development funding specifically, and national policy generally.
The 2013 Tourism Think Tank was seen as being a real success, and World Tourism Forum Switzerland was congratulated for the initiative and for being the host.