WTM London launches event to connect investors, destinations and ministers

Published on : Monday, October 23, 2017

WTM LondonA major new event bringing together international investors, government ministers and destinations will be held at WTM London – the leading global event for the travel industry.


Called ‘IHIF at WTM London: Ministers’ Destination Investment Symposium’, it is being organised with the International Hotel Investment Forum Berlin (IHIF) and the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).


Building on WTM London’s expertise within the international travel industry and IHIF Berlin’s leadership in hospitality investment, the symposium is open to investors, ministers and their aides, city mayors, tourism board directors and senior government officials.


Several major investors have already signed up to attend the inaugural event, including representatives from Goldman Sachs, Barings Real Estate Europe and Invesco Real Estate.


The symposium will be introduced by speakers from WTM London and Questex, the global business information company that runs IHIF Berlin.


Two panel debates will take place – the Investors’ Panel and the Ministers’ Panel – plus a keynote speech about sustainable development.


There will also be a destination case study from David Margason, Chief Executive at Porto Montenegro – described as the Mediterranean’s “leading luxury yacht home port and marina village”.


The Investors’ Panel will explore what makes a destination attractive to investors, and travel trends that will affect future investment decisions.


Speakers include Keith Evans, Vice President – Hotels at Starwood Capital, and Tina Yu, Senior Vice President at KSL Capital. The Ministers’ Panel will look at how governments work with the travel and hospitality sector to make destinations successful, and it will consider issues such as infrastructure, regulations and public-private partnerships.


The Ministers’ Panel will be moderated by Carlos Vogeler, UNWTO Executive Director for Member Relations, and will feature Issam Kazim, Chief Executive of Dubai Tourism, plus three speakers representing government ministries. The symposium will close with a networking reception.


The official media partner is A+E Networks, a global media company which reaches 330 million people worldwide, and can be found in eight out of 10 American homes.


WTM London Senior Director Simon Press said: “We’re very proud to be working with IHIF Berlin and the UNWTO on these important questions.


“IHIF Berlin is very influential within the hospitality industry and, together with the UNWTO, our symposium can address crucial issues surrounding the development of destinations – which in turn can generate tremendous economic benefits and employment opportunities.


“High-level decisions about developing destinations can commit millions of pounds to long-term projects, so it’s crucial that investors and ministers have a forum to discuss trends and ideas, and network with each other.”


Questex Hospitality and Travel, Executive Vice President, Alexi Khajavi: “Over the last seven years, we have seen a steady increase in the number of destinations and tourism ministries attending and sponsoring the International Hotel Investment Forum as a vehicle to meet qualified investors and developers with the goal of increasing foreign investment in their tourism and hospitality sectors. Partnering with WTM London is an incredible opportunity for us to bring our community of investors and developers to where the destinations and Ministers of Tourism already are.”

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