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London summit to debate legacy of mega events

By Philip Mwakio | November 1st 2014

Nairobi; Kenya: The eighth edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and World Travel Market (WTM) Ministers’ Summit to be held next Tuesday in London, will put a spotlight on the connection between tourism and mega events. In particular, the summit will look at how such events can create a lasting legacy.

UNWTO says that tourism and mega-events are closely interlinked in today’s globalised society. “Many of those attending mega events are tourists. In turn, these events have a direct impact on tourism destinations, affecting issues ranging from investment and employment generation to infrastructure development, accommodation and transport facilities or branding,” the UN body said.

Visit Britain

“This gathering will look for answers to questions like how to measure the impact of mega events on destinations, how to ensure adequate infrastructure development, and how to promote sustainable events that minimise environmental impacts, foster community engagement and investment in human capital.”

Speakers include the ministers and secretaries of State for Tourism of Brazil, Jamaica, Lebanon, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Tunisia, as well as the Vice Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), the Chairman of the Qatar Tourism Authority, the Vice-President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), and the Chairman of Visit Britain.

Private sector representatives include the President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the Chairman of Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), the Head of the Rugby World Cup at the International Rugby Board (IRB), and the Project Director of the Donauinselfest in Austria.

Max Foster of UNWTO media partner CNN International will moderate the debate. In total, over 60 Tourism ministers are expected to join the Summit, a key component of the WTM Minister’s Programme and an essential leadership forum on the future directions of the global tourism sector.

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