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WTTC to Support Japan by Meeting There

By Matt Alderton
August 18, 2011

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In support of the local tourism industry, which was crippled on March 11 by the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) will hold a substantial part of the 12th WTTC Global Summit in Sendai, the main city of Tohoku Region, the area of Japan that was most severely affected by the earthquake and tsunami, it announced this month.

WTTC announced in November 2010 that the Summit would be held April 16-19, 2012, in Tokyo, with more than 1,000 participants expected to attend. Just one week after the Summit's host committee held its first meeting, however, the earthquake struck Japan.

In the months since, WTTC and the host committee have been collaborating in order to determine the best way to support Japan's recovery through tourism. Following a June visit by WTTC President and CEO David Scowsill, the organization agreed to hold two Summit meetings — the WTTC Annual General Meeting and Executive Committee Meeting — in Sendai on April 17, along with an additional congress that will focus specifically on the recovery of Japan's tourism industry, as well as risk management and crisis response.

"The recovery of Japan is one of the most compelling issues facing global travel and tourism," Scowsill said. "I'm delighted that we will be able to bring the industry's leaders to Sendai during the Summit week in 2012, as it sends a clear message about our commitment to showing that Japan in general and the Tohoku region in particular have recovered from the tragic events of March 11 and are ready to rediscover their position among the world's premier tourism destinations."

Based in the United Kingdom, WTTC was established in 1990 with members representing the world's foremost leaders in the private sector of travel and tourism. Its goals are promoting the industry as a source of economic growth, encouraging public-private partnerships and persuading governments to adopt pro-tourism policies. The WTTC Global Summit is its annual meeting, where travel and tourism leaders from around the world convene to discuss opportunities, challenges and issues. For more information, visit www.wttc.org.
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