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Top Spanish representatives to reveal impact of March 11 Madrid attacks on Travel and Tourism in Spain

Travel News Asia 28 April 2004

On May 2, at the 4th Global Travel & Tourism Summit, Miguel Angel Villanueva, Head of Economy & Tourism Development for the City of Madrid, and official representative of the Mayor of Madrid, will join with Jos Luis Zoreda, CEO, EXCELTUR, to reveal the true impact of the Madrid atrocity on Travel & Tourism in Spain and to examine future prospects for the industry.

Miguel Angel Villanueva is Madrid's top official in charge of Tourism and will represent the public sector. Jos Luis Zoreda, is CEO of EXCELTUR, the alliance for Tourism excellence in Spain, and will represent the private sector.

EXCELTUR has recently carried out a survey that compiles the views of some 1,500 Spanish business leaders on the impact of March 11 on Travel & Tourism in Madrid and the results of this survey will be released during the breakfast meeting.

This presentation, is highly significant, not only because it brings together two highly qualified public and private sector tourism representatives from Spain, but also because it will be the first major public statement of this nature about the Madrid atrocities outside Spain. Mr Villanueva and Mr Zoreda will use this platform to openly debate ideas, consider public and private sector expectations and proposals for the way forward for tourism in Spain. They will also be prepared to take questions from the media, not only on the research but also on prospects for Travel & Tourism to Madrid / Spain and on what is being done going forward.

The impact of the Madrid atrocities will comprise half of a special breakfast session commencing at 7.00 am on Sunday May 2 in the Salwa Ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel, Doha. The other half of the meeting will review the World Travel & Tourism Council's India Initiative. The session will be moderated by Jean-Claude Baumgarten, President of WTTC.

Case Study: What's Driving Dramatic Travel & Tourism Growth in India?

Growth of the Travel & Tourism sector in India is now faster than in any other major economy. The World Travel & Tourism Council's India Initiative commenced in February 2000. Since then, it has formulated a coherent and cohesive strategic policy for the region, it has helped identify key weaknesses in India's tourism product and has begun to find workable solutions to address these issues. 

Taking part in a discussion about the results of the India Initiative will be Yogesh Chandra, Secretary General, WTTC India Initiative, Amitabh Kant, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, India, NK Singh, Member, Planning Commission India, Lalit Suri MP, Chairman WTTC India Initiative and Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Hotels and Rathi Vinay Jha, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, India.

Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC President said: "Travel & Tourism is a vital economic sector, responsible for over 10% of world GDP and more than 200 million jobs. We need to understand how it can best be harnessed to make a positive contribution to national economies everywhere. At the same time, we must understand what to do when events conspire to damage it. In this session, we will consider two case studies that illuminate both perspectives.

One is on the WTTC India Initiative that has successfully stimulated government action to increase investment in the sector, remove barriers to growth and consequently raise the economic contribution of Travel & Tourism to the Indian economy.

The other reviews the impact of the Madrid atrocity of March 11 that was designed to undermine Travel & Tourism in Spain - the most important sector of the economy that, according to EXCELTUR, represents 12% of GDP and 1.5 million direct jobs. We will seek to quantify the economic damage and draw appropriate conclusions for the future."

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