Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC President, said: “We are delighted to accept the invitation from the Secretary of State of Tourism for Portugal to host the Summit in Lisbon in 2007. The Global Travel & Tourism Summit has been held on three previous occasions in Vilamoura in the Algarve Region, in 1997, 2000 and 2003 and we are honored to work again with Portugal to ensure that the Summit builds on its success. Lisbon will provide the ideal platform to encourage global leaders to broadcast a message of strength and unity for the Travel & Tourism industry.”
The proposed Host Committee in Portugal has already gotten strong support from the Portuguese Prime Minister, Jose Socrates, the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Manuel Pinho and the Mayor of Lisbon, Antonio Carmona Rodrigues
Portugal is the closest destination to the U.S. in Europe, easy to get to and to navigate, and it serves as a gateway to the rest of the continent. Famed for a mild climate year round, an excellent range of sports awaits the active traveler; each corner of the country is rich with historical attractions It is one of Europe’s best values – prices compare favorably with other European destinations. It is a destination of timeless appeal. As one senior travel editor recently put it- “Lisbon is it. It is the capital of cool in Europe.”
Manuel Fernando Espirito Santo, Chairman of the Espirito Santo Tourism said: “As a long standing board Member of WTTC, I look forward to welcoming the 7th Global Travel & Tourism Summit to Lisbon. Travel & Tourism is one of the most important contributors to the Portuguese economy expected to account in 2006 for 6.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product and 17.7 percent of total employment. Both public and private companies are committed to making this event a huge success by providing their generous sponsorship and vital organizational skills.”
Fernando Pinto, TAP Portugal CEO added, “As a major European city, Lisbon is an ideal location to host this event and is easily accessible from any point in the world. TAP Portugal is committed to offering all delegates a high level of service and to making their visit to Portugal an easy and pleasurable experience.”
Lisbon, a city with two million people and 2,500 years of history, sits on the north bank of the Tejo River, where the river meets the Atlantic. It is Portugal’s largest city and its capital, with the added distinction of being the warmest and western-most capital in Europe. Its climate is strongly influenced by the Gulf Stream. An earthquake in 1755 leveled a large portion of the city, but those areas were restored, and the city retains several of its original medieval neighborhoods. Built on seven hills, some of Lisbon’s streets are too steep for cars, but visitors can and should take in panoramic views of the city by traveling to the top on the trolleys or funicular.
The Summit is the industry’s highest profile event and attracts Chief Executives, Chairs and Presidents of the world’s most leading travel & tourism companies as well as senior government officials and major media from around the globe. The event provides a unique platform for discussion between the leading public and private sector decision makers who will shape the future of one of the world’s largest industries – Travel and Tourism.
Unlike most commercial and political conferences that are effectively a procession of speeches with little time built in for questions, the Summit will revolve around a series of highly interactive discussions, moderated by business leaders and journalists, who challenge and organize contributions from the audience. This format promises to promote genuine, lively discussion and is a great chance for industry leaders to express their opinions candidly.
ITP- Portuguese Tourism Board is a public institute and a distinct legal entity with administrative and financial autonomy and its own assets. The ITP’s activity is exercised under the aegis of the Ministry of the Tourism. Its objective is to provide support for the development and promotion of the business structure and investment within the tourism sector as part of the strategic partnership between public policy and the initiatives of private economic agents. For more information about Portugal, visit www.visitportugal.com.