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Facilitated by Birka Valentin.
This Roundtable Session on Redefining Destination Purpose and Governance falls at a critical time for our industry, marking the end of a momentous and detrimental year for tourism, as much of the world goes back into lockdown. In this session, we are looking forward to 2021, with a sense of optimism that governments and industry will come together, where leadership will define what measures and how to help industry recover stronger, more resilient and more sustainable. If there is one thing we want to celebrate when we look back in the future, it will the rebirth of tourism as a meaningful, powerful and impactful force for good, not just for the economy but for society too.
To set the scene, we have experienced record growth for more than a decade, Travel & Tourism represents 10.4% of global GDP, supporting 1 in 10 jobs. Before the pandemic, forecasts by UNWTO showed a curvature of growth spelling out a lucrative and promising future for global tourism, but with it, increasing challenges and pressure on the impact of unmanaged growth. Then there was coronavirus. As an industry, we have been forced to take a hard look in the mirror and confront many difficult questions which will define the next era of travel and the world in which we want to live.
This session is going to go deep on some of the most difficult conversations we will have this year. We are inviting our panelists and audience to ask the tough questions nobody wants to ask and look hard facts in the face as we speak candidly about the role of DMOs, the true meaning of purpose and the need for destination stewardship and good, responsible governance.