New tourism conference to galvanise policies on culture and heritage in tourism

 Wednesday, June 28, 2023 


A dynamic new leadership summit will grapple with major challenges and opportunities of culture and heritage in tourism. Event organiser, the World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage, invites stakeholders to make their voices heard at the new annual summit, the first of which takes place in Valencia, Spain, 24-25 September.

A list of respected high-level speakers from national government organisations, lending institutions, heritage organisations, tourism departments, local communities, academia, and private sector representatives will convene for a day and a half in Valencia. They will focus on creating viable businesses and building better livelihoods for people living in heritage communities connected to tourism.

The aim of the summit is to better conserve and promote responsible cultural and heritage tourism around the world – and for tourism to be the protector of the world’s culture and heritage.

Key sessions include the case for investment in heritage destinations, balancing tourism growth with heritage conservation, the latest global trends in cultural and heritage in tourism, better capacity building, training and education. There will be a session when anyone in the delegation can contribute.

The World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) will present the Summit with host organisation Visit Valencia in the heart of Valencia, Spain – Europe’s Green Capital 2024.

“We believe that focused efforts can improve the lives and wellbeing of local communities and custodians through better implementation of best practices,” said Nigel Fell, CEO of WTACH.

A sample of the stellar line-up of international guest speakers already confirmed includes:

Rajan Data – BBC, London as Key Moderator, Dawn Drew – Summit MC, Global Tourism Destination Specialist – New York; Anne Grady – Senior Advisor to the European Parliament – Brussels; Imad Barrakad, Chairman SMIT (Morocco Agency for Tourism Development) – Rabat, Morocco; Bruce Poon Tip – Founder G Adventures, Toronto, Karl Burrows – Head of Maori Tourism Development – Tourism New Zealand – Auckland; Debbie Flynn – Managing Partner and Global Practice Leader – Finn Partners – London; Emma Nardi – President, International Council of Museums (ICOM) – Rome; Judy Kepher-Gona, Founder, Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda – Nairobi; Scott Wayne – President – SWA Development – Sustainable Destinations – Washington DC; Nada Hosking – National Geographic Explorer & Social Impact Leader – Austin, Texas; Miguel Angel Perez – Brands & Markets Director, Visit Valencia, Valencia.

WTACH Chairman, Chris Flynn, said the Global Leadership Summit programme has been designed to attract representatives from governments, tourism boards, leading private sector decision makers, tour operators, corporate sponsors, community representatives, NGOs, media and others.

“With the summit theme ‘Celebrating our Past – Securing our Future,’ our programme encourages attendees to contribute to new directions, priorities and attitudes towards culture and heritage in tourism,” said Flynn.

While the summit formally concludes on the evening of 25 September, there will be optional training on the morning of the 26th for culture and heritage tourism practitioners. Spaces are limited to 25.

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