The Tourism Society has confirmed that UNWTO
Secretary-General ad interim, Taleb Rifai, will be joining the
panel for the 'Tourism Society and UNWTO' debate on 14 July 2009
at the Royal College of Physicians, London.
Mr Rifai will
be joined by Christopher Rodrigues, Chairman of VisitBritain;
Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of
South Africa; Lelei LeLaulu, Chairman, Foundation of the Peoples
of the South Pacific International; Geoffrey Lipman (UNWTO
Assistant Secretary-General, Victoria University and Christel De
Haan Institute) alongside other key industry figures to debate the
role of tourism as an economic stimulator for the G20 nations.
Taleb Rifai served as Deputy Secretary-General at the UNWTO
from February 2006 to February 2009 and has an extensive
background in international and nacional public service, the
private sector and academia. Prior to joining UNWTO he was the
Assistant Director General of the International Labour
Organization (ILO). He also served in several ministerial
portfolios in the Government of his native Jordan as Minister of
Planning and International Cooperation, Minister of Information
and Minister of Tourism and Antiquity.
The chairman of the
debate will be Society President, Lord Thurso MP; current Shadow
Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
The debate will look at the implications of the G:20 summit
outcomes on the international tourism industry; what the
governments of the world are doing to combat the global recession
and where tourism fits in. It is hoped that this debate
will herald a 'shift change' in attitudes of global governments
who will finally take tourism seriously as a means to boost their
“As world leaders grapple with today’s
unprecedented global economic conditions we want to stress the
potential for tourism and travel to support short term stimulus
actions as well as longer term transformation to a green economy,
coherent with development and climate imperatives,” commented
UNWTO Assistant Secretary-General Geoffrey Lipman.
debate will follow the Society’s 32nd AGM in the afternoon. Tickets for the debate
are £35 for members, £50 for non-members.
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