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Geopolitics and the Coronavirus: Implications for Global Travel and Tourism

ATM Dubai | May 1-4, 2023

Resilience Council Sessions:

May 1:


11:30 – 12:30  |  Ministerial Debate: How Should Travel Tackle the Climate Crisis?  | Global Stage 

All eyes are on the UAE and wider Gulf region as Expo City Dubai prepares to host the Cop28 climate conference in November 2023. With world leaders gathering in the UAE to find solutions to the threats posed by climate change, this session looks at the crucial role the tourism industry plays in that process


Mr. Sujit Mohanty, Regional Director of Arab States, UNDRR

H.E. Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy

H.E. Makram Mustafa Abdul Karim Al-Qaisi, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan

H.E. Walid Nassar, Minister of Tourism, Lebanon

Moderator: Eleni Giokos, International Anchor and Correspondent, CNN



11:30 – 12:15  |  Online Tech Driving Sustainability – Technology the Enabler of Sustainable Travel | Travel Tech Stage 

In the travel industry, the rise of digital technologies has had a huge impact on how purchasing and planning trips. Online travel platforms such as AirBnB, Expedia, and TripAdvisor make it easier for travelers to find greener and more sustainable accommodations, providing detailed information about the environmental impact of their selections. In addition to helping to reduce resource consumption, online travel platforms are a key component of sustainable development by creating opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs to connect with travelers, in turn helping the local economy and provide employment opportunities in under developed.


Tom Kershaw, Chief Product & Technology Officer, Travelport

Andrea Prazakova, Sr. Vice President, EEMEA, Foundry & ESG, Mastercard

Carlo Olejniczak, Vice President & Managing Director, EMEA, Booking.com

Lucas Bobes, Group Environmental Officer and Head of ESG Reporting, Amadeus

 Moderator: Shashank Nigam, CEO, Simpliflying




14:30 – 15:15  |  Greenwashing – Recognizing Companies Who Truly Care  | Global Stage 

In a time where sustainability is the “in thing”, it is important that a brand is credible and transparent in their marketing and comms. Greenwashing is becoming increasingly an issue, especially within travel and tourism. This session will highlight exactly what Greenwashing is, and how to be more transparent with sharing your sustainable and responsible practices. How can you really build trust in your brand and credibility?


Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Radisson Hotel Group

Dirk Singer, Head of Sustainability, Simpliflying

Lucas Bobes, Group Environmental Officer and Head of ESG Reporting, Amadeus

Catherine Logan, Regional VP, EMEA and APAC, GBTA

Moderator: Sarah Hedley-Hymers, Editorial Director, Connecting Travel/Jacobs Media Group


15:25 – 16:25  |  Is Sustainability Profitable – Why Choose the Sustainable Road?  | Global Stage 

Can sustainable decisions really bring in a profit? Sustainability can be used as a tool for loyalty, additional promotion and key partnerships. You can share learnings and develop sustainable tools and knowledge to become industry leaders not followers. Sustainability is about more than doing the right thing, and the market looking for sustainable travel just keeps growing.


Zina Bencheikh,  Managing Director EMEA, Intrepid

Carlos Cendra, CMO, Mabrian

Christian Delom, Secretary General, A World for Travel

Jared Harckham, VP Managing Director – Aviation, Travel and Tourism, ICF

 Moderator: Dr. Miniya Chatterji, CEO, Sustain Labs Paris


15:30 – 16:15  | Evolving Role of the DMO | Sustainability Hub 

The destination, by definition, is where the impact of tourism is felt, whether that impact is positive or negative.  As DMOs, we are tasked with enhancing those positive effects of tourism while mitigating the negative impacts.

This session will look at the evolving role and function of the destination organization and draws on Destinations International’s global membership of destination organizations to examine successful case studies of DMOs that are delivering measurable economic, social, and environmental benefits for their communities.


Gabriel Seder, Vice President, Global Development, Destinations International

Moderator: Sarah Ayache, Government Advisory, Director, Consulum

May 3:


10:45-11:30  |  Strategic Sustainability Planning – Where does the Supply Chain Start?  | Sustainability Hub 

There are upstream and downstream supply chains for everyone, government and business.  In travel and tourism how do we identify them, engage with them and what is the importance of strategically managing supply chains.  What are the risks of not managing them and how do destinations, suppliers and society benefit?


H.E. Ghada Shalaby, Vice Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Arab Republic of Egypt

Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica

Dr. Miniya Chatterji, CEO, Sustain Labs Paris

Moderator:  Gabriel Seder, Vice President, Global Development, Destinations International


12:40 – 13:40  |  Carbon Offsetting – The Big Debate | Sustainability Hub 

The session will explain what is and how to establish your carbon footprint, what is carbon offsetting, what are the debates around it and where offsetting fits in the global struggle to reduce its effect on the climate and the environment.


Sanith de S. Wijeyeratne, Director and CEO, Climate & Conservation Consortium

Mark Corbet, Founder/Director, Thrust Carbon

Nicolas Soucaille, General Manager, BlackLane UAE

Moderator: Andrew Brown, Regional Director, EMEA and APAC, WTTC


14:40 – 15:15  |  Maritime Tourism -Practical Solutions and Amazing Developments | Sustainability Hub 


The global underwater and seaside tourism industry has grown immensely over the last two decades. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the global underwater and seaside tourism industry is valued at over $100 billion with annual growth rates of 3.5 – 5%. The Gulf of the Arabian Sea as well as the Red Sea support a wide range of marine life, with clear and relatively shallow waters, the region is a magnet for visitors and locals, but are the coastlines and the offshore habitats protected sufficiently to allow the maritime tourism boom alongside the in-water building and construction activities?


Will Bateman, CEO and Founder, CCell Renewables

Ni Made Ayu Marthini, Deputy Minister of Marketing of Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia

Hon. Madame Sherin Francis, Deputy Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine – Seychelles

Moderator: Bruno Wiley, Managing Partner, Katalysts & Co

May 4:


11:45 – 12:15 | Global Horizons: Defining Traveller Behaviours | Global Stage 

Discover the latest booking and destination trends as travel’s recovery continues. This session will use Skyscanner’s unique search data to cover the latest travel search and booking behaviour, including seasonality, booking horizons, and help you piece together who the traveller of 2024 will be. Understand the traveller behaviour from traveller surveys, including their spending behaviours. How can businesses plan for these trends and use this information to develop better strategies for the year to come.


Mike Ferguson, Director of Destination Marketing, Skyscanner

Sasha Al Jurdi, Head of Content and Programming, TikTok MENA

Moderator: Nicholas Hall, Founder, Digital Tourism Think Tank



12:15 – 13:00  |  Tactically Supporting Sustainability  | Sustainability Hub 

Educating about sustainability also must include addressing the most difficult of all in this effort to save our planet.  Shifting the mindset of travellers and suppliers.  Here are two companies using their platforms to change behaviors though commercial activities.


Rhea Saran, Global Head of Brand and Content, Travelzoo

David Bishop, Government Affairs, Consulum

Moderator: Ben McCabe, Founder, McCabe & Associates



14:00 – 14:45  |  Workshop – Developing Sustainable Tourism Action Plan | Sustainability Hub 

Showcasing those who are successfully taking a sustainable approach, from destinations to tour operators, hotels to aviation. Learning about the struggles they have faced and how to avoid them moving forwards.


Jared Harckham, VP Managing Director – Aviation, Travel and Tourism, ICF

Ripin Kalra, Technical Director, Sustainable Destinations & Urban Development, ICF

Moderator: Tarek Shawki, Managing Partner, Katalysts & Co.