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`Public-private sector synergies are the key to success` says panel of travel&tourism leaders

At an event to launch the next Global Travel & Tourism Summit, a panel of industry leaders spoke out forcefully to advocate much greater collaboration between…

At an event to launch the next Global Travel & Tourism Summit, a panel of industry leaders spoke out forcefully to advocate much greater collaboration between government and industry in order to foster sustainable growth and greater security for the travelling public.

The panel discussion, which took place at the World Travel Market in London, was moderated by television journalist Gwenan Edwards and covered issues ranging from emerging markets and the implications of the latest technology to the impact of government policy on safety & security.

The panel debate was an example of the discussions that will take place at the 4th Global Travel &Tourism Summit on a much larger scale from 1 – 3 May 2004 in Doha, Qatar, when over 500 of the most influential people in the industry will gather to discuss the major issues confronting Travel & Tourism.

The panellists were

Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways Jean-Claude Baumgarten, President, World Travel & Tourism Council

Luis Correia da Silva, Minister for Tourism, Portugal Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor, NBC`s Today Program Lalit Suri, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Hotels and Member of Parliament, India

Jean-Claude Baumgarten said: The outcome of the last Summit was a Blueprint for New Tourism; at the next Summit, we will be focussing on the major initiatives that must be undertaken to drive constructive change.

Akbar Al Baker said: In Qatar, tourism is the second industry behind natural resources. At the Summit, we will unveil a grand plan for tourism in Qatar.

Panel Discussion Highlights

Below are selected quotes from the panellists on various issues.

Jean-Claude Baumgarten said: Governments have to elevate Travel & Tourism to senior cabinet positions.

Lalit Suri endorsed this comment and pointed out that: The WTTC private sector initiative in India has helped to elevate Travel & Tourism to senior government levels in the parliament. The result has been investment in crucial infrastructures and policies which will help to make India a destination to be proud of.

Luis Correia da Silva sais: In Portugal, we work closely with the private sector on new legislation governing Travel & Tourism development.

The Experience

Peter Greenberg said: Tourism is no longer about the destination, it`s about the experience and the industry must change to recognize that. The question is what can I do in your destination that I can`t do at home? I want to go fishing, catch the fish and cook it with the hotel chef – that`s an experience!

Akbar Al Baker continued: Everyone has sun, sea and sand. We are differentiating ourselves by selling our culture. In addition, safety and security is a selling point. In my country the crime rate is zero.

Peter Greenberg added: In my country over 1100 people a week have a serious accident in their own bathtub so you have to keep safety and security in perspective.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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