WTTC lauds PH for successful hosting of International Tourism Summit

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Photo from Philippines Department of Tourism

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Leaders of the global tourism industry congratulated the Philippines for successfully hosting the 21st Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) last April 20 to 22, 2022 as it closed with high hopes for an industry battered by the pandemic.

“What an amazing summit. We really have rediscovered travel,” WTTC president and CEO Julia Simpson said.

In her closing speech, Simpson said the success of the summit was a “testament that the country’s tourism industry is well on its feet.”

WTTC president and CEO Julia Simpson. Photo from Tourism Promotions Board

The summit, which gathered world leaders of the tourism industry, has given the Philippines the opportunity to showcase “how beautiful the country is,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.

She said the Philippines is now a top-of-mind destination for delegates, many of whom have decided to stay to savor the rest of the country where “we are setting an example of how to open safely.”

“This has been a wonderful global summit and, to echo your brand campaign, we certainly had lots of fun in the Philippines. This is an experience all the delegates of the Summit can definitely attest to,” WTTC chairman Arnold Donald said in his closing address.

Gloria Guevara, special advisor of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism and former president and CEO of WTTC, said the Philippines “has exceeded all of our expectations."

"Thanks to the leadership of Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat before and during the pandemic," Guevara also said. "The Philippines has been successfully repositioned as a top destination and she delivered an impactful Summit. The Filipino hospitality has also made it memorable.”

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. Photo from Tourism Promotions Board

Puyat thanked the delegates and participants for the success of the summit and for their “outstanding commitment you have shown in support of the recovery and continued growth of the global travel and tourism industry.”

She said that as the pandemic forced the tourism industry to raise its game and change the way it gets things done, “we have likewise put much effort into discerning the most effective combination between the enforcement of health and safety guidelines and personal convenience - the delicate balancing act of implementing measures to ensure everyone’s safety without placing unreasonable burdens on the traveling public.”

She continued: “Our shared hopes and dreams for the future are reflected in the policies we have developed, and the measures we have put in place to plan and realize this sector’s full and complete recovery."

Citing the need for sustainable tourism, she said the summit also gave way to “passionate advocacies for responsible tourism, and for a greener environment.”

“Our destinations must not be allowed to go back to the old unsustainable ways of the past," Puyat said. "Instead, we must move forward guided by strategic and evidence-based planning and aimed toward building further resilience."

Photo from Philippines Department of Tourism

Photo from Philippines Department of Tourism

To review the summit sessions, click this link for Day 1, and this link for Day 2.