Who's Who: Masungi Georeserve protectors, Indonesian activist among speakers at 2022 WTTC Summit

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Who's Who: Masungi Georeserve protectors, Indonesian activist among speakers at 2022 WTTC Summit
This file photo shows World Travel and Tourism Council global summit.
DOT / released

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED April 20, 2022; 9:06 p.m.)— The World Travel and Tourism Council recently unveiled the speakers for its Global Summit, which is being hosted by the Philippines for the first time this year.

The WTTC Global Summit is an annual event that gathers over 800 delegates composed of CEOs, presidents, and chairpersons of the largest and most prominent international travel and tourism companies.

The 21st hybrid edition will take place in Manila, Philippines from April 20 to 2022 with a global audience joining virtually. This year, over 600 industry leaders and 20 government representatives are expected to attend the summit to align the efforts that support the pandemic-hit sector’s recovery.

Among the speakers at the WTTC are the following:

Ann and Billie Dumaliang, trustees of Masungi Georeserve Foundation – They are set to share their insights on the role of tourism in biodiversity conservation.

Masungi Georeserve protectors Billie and Ann Dumaliang
Masungi Georeserve/Released

“We are honored to be invited by WTTC President Julia Simpson and the Philippine Government to speak about our project and continue to work in tandem on vital issues. Tourism plays a crucial role in biodiversity conservation efforts - both in terms of funding and spreading awareness on the importance of the environment,” Ann, Managing Trustee of Masungi Georeserve and a National Geographic Explorer said.

Summit delegates are also scheduled to visit the privately protected Masungi Georeserve in Baras, Rizal as part of their post-conference itinerary.

In 2018, Masungi Georeserve Foundation’s conservation approach was recognized by the WTTC its 2018 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) also named it as one of top three privately-led sustainable tourism projects in 2019.

In February last year, the reserve won the inaugural global Water Changemakers Award from the Global Water Partnership for its conservation work and watershed rehabilitation.

Melati Wijsen – Indonesian-Dutch activist who founded Bye Bye Plastics at the age of 12 will grace the global tourism conference. Bye Bye Plastics is a global movement that seeks to end the use of plastic bags.

In 2018, Melati was named one of the “World’s most influential teens” by Time Magazine alongside her sister. 

She is set to lead an insightful session entitled “In Depth: Cultivating a Sustainable Future.”

“Melati is an inspiration to us all. A real changemaker, who from such a young age, has been instrumental in raising awareness of the damage caused by plastic and has inspired young people around the world to lead change,” Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said.

South Korean politician Ban Ki-Moon – The politician who served as the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations between 2007 and 2016 is set to address the WTTC delegates virtually.

Bear Grylls – British adventurer writer, television presenter and businessman

Kevin Kwan -  Singapore-born American novelist and writer of satirical novels, who landed Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in 2018.

In 2013, Kwan published "Crazy Rich Asians," and in the same year, "Hunger Games" producer Nina Jacobson secured the film rights which was released in the U.S. in 2018.

Lawrence Bender - American film producer Bender earned 36 Academy Award nominations, resulting in eight wins for blockbuster movies such as "Reservoir Dogs," "Pulp Fiction" and "Good Will Hunting."

Bender is a passionate social and political activist and is on the Advisory Board for the University of California, Los Angeles Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He is also a member of the Global Zero campaign.

Other notable speakers taking to the stage during the global summit will be international business leaders such as Arnold Donald, President & CEO Carnival Corporation and Chairman at WTTC; Greg O’Hara, Founder and Senior Managing Director Certares and Vice Charman at WTTC; Craig Smith, Group President International Division Marriott International; Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, COO Tourism Promotion Board Philippines; Federico Gonzalez, CEO Radisson; and Nelson Boyce, Head of Travel for the Americas at Google Inc.

They will be joined by tourism ministers from around the world including Spain, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Japan, Maldives, and Barbados, among others.

The global summit will also feature Kelly Craighead, President & CEO CLIA; Jane Sun, CEO Trip.com, Ariane Gorin, President Expedia for Business; and Darrell Wade, Chairman Intrepid Group; among others.

'Light at the end of tunnel'

WTTC’s Simpson said they are delighted to have such influential speakers already confirmed for the Global Summit in Manila.

“After more than two years, the region is perfectly positioned to post the losses caused by the pandemic. WTTC’s Global Summit will act as a catalyst to drive forward the recovery of a sector that is critical for both the economy and jobs,” Simpson said.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat is optimistic of the success of the WTTC, citing the country’s preparations. She said this “serves as the light at the end of tunnel following a long period of darkness for global tourism.”

“It is heartening that these inspiring individuals have joined our efforts to bring the industry onward to full recovery,” she added.

Through this summit, governments across the Asia Pacific region and across the globe are eyeing to reach the pre-pandemic level of growth this year by focusing on the COVID-19 vaccine and booster rollout and easement of travel restrictions allowing fully vaccinated individuals to move freely without the need for testing.

Meanwhile, the Metro Manila Development Authority said it will implement a stop-and-go traffic scheme along Roxas Boulevard and Diokno Boulevard on Wednesday, April 20, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit 2022.

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