World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit looks for ‘road to recovery’

More than 600 attendees gathered for The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit in Cancun, Mexico, to look for ways to help the sector recover.

The fact that the attendees could travel at all was some cause for celebration, as last year’s event was cancelled.

Hilton CEO and president Christopher Nassetta was among many who felt a globally agreed message on how to safely travel was vital for any path to recovery, with many calling on the World Health Organization to be the one that leads the charge.

Nassetta said in his opening speech that “the desire for experiences and connections has not changed…the pandemic has only heightened those trends.”

Vaccination programs and travel bubbles were all topics of discussion, but there was a consensus that any recovery would be patchy with some destinations facing greater challenges than others.

Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company, said hotel occupancy in New York City was starting to rise again led by an increase in leisure travel and hoped that more of the one third of hotels currently closed would begin to open again in the coming months.

“Travel is going to be a coiled spring,” he said. “It is going to rebound quickly.”