June 26 -27, 2018
June 26 -27, 2018
8:55 – 17:30
Experts in resilience planning from around the world have gathered in Amman on June 27th to discuss practical ways of ensuring the resilience of travel and tourism for the benefit of destinations, communities, travel suppliers and travellers.
The Resilience Through Tourism Summit brings together speakers and attendees from the public and private sectors, NGOs and media to showcase Jordan and to share lessons, pool resources and establish best practice.
The opening session of the Summit this morning was addressed by H E Lina Annab, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities in Jordan.
The Ministry is host partner together with the Jordan Tourism Board, whose managing director Dr Abed Al Razzaq addressed the guests followed by remarks by USAID’s deputy mission director Dr Lewis J Tatem. USAID is the supporting partner in organising the event.
Dr Tatem said: “The United States and the Government of Jordan maintain a long-standing partnership in advancing the country’s economic well-being, and tourism is a sector that holds specific importance and potential for Jordan’s economic growth and resilience. USAID remains committed to supporting Jordan as it works to expand this sector and strengthen the country’s economic stability and prosperity.”
Other speakers in the opening session included Isabel Hill, director of the US Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, Professor Lee Miles of Bournemouth University in the UK, and Deepak Joshi, chief executive of the Nepal Tourism Board.
In a keynote address this afternoon, Taleb Rifai, head of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) until the end of last year and a former tourism minister of Jordan, will call for travel and tourism to develop deeper “roots in local communities”.
Rifai said: “We are talking about how to keep economies going and keep jobs alive. That is important not just for Jordan but all over the Middle East and all over the world. Tourism can do so much that other sectors can’t, but this does not come automatically.
“What is most important is tourism’s impact on the local community. It’s not enough to have the private sector sharing profits. We need to ensure everyone in a country benefits, that whatever comes to a country is shared. Simply providing jobs will not be enough in the future. It is not enough just to serve rich people. We can’t continue to build five-star hotels in three-star communities. We must build tourism with strong connections with communities. People must feel that every visitor is their own guest.”
Rifai will also highlight the significance of the Summit taking in place in Jordan at this moment. He said: “We have been going through a difficult time, but there is a great sense of optimism and of looking forward. The fact that we are holding this Summit and that people are coming to meet in Amman at this time is extremely important for us.”
H E Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism for Jamaica who addressed the Summit this morning, said: “Tourism has morphed into this mega-industry. It dominates so many countries’ economies, but with it come enormous vulnerabilities. Tourism is by its nature fragile. It is vulnerable to climate events. It’s sensitive to crime, to terrorism and now to cyberattacks.
“A number of countries are heavily dependent on tourism, the Caribbean among them, and that makes the ability to build resilience against climate change and all kinds of disruption critical.”
Bartlett said: “We need people to come back quickly following disruption. Tourism is one of the best ways for a country to bounce back. It brings wealth. You don’t have to sow a seed and wait.” But he added: “The arguments for resilience are new to tourism. The industry’s focus is on product and the environment. The tendency is to conserve.”
Bartlett will open a Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management in Jamaica in September.
Daniela Wagner, summit organiser and Jacobs Media Group director of international partnerships, said: “Jordan is a country that has constantly striven to maintain peace in the Middle East. It has used tourism as a driver for economic growth and the development of social enterprise initiatives and it continues to drive tourism growth through innovation and promotion.
“Jacobs Media Group is proud to hold its first regional resilience summit in Amman, in partnership with the Jordan Tourism Board and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and with USAID and the Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project (BEST). We could not have selected a better partner destination for this initiative and we are delighted that so many world-class speakers and representatives from the public and private sectors have agreed to participate in this summit.”
Duncan Horton, chief executive of Jacobs Media Group, parent company of UK-based Travel Weekly Group, added: “Travel Weekly Group aims to be a leader in the development of thought-leadership initiatives which help to share best practice in key areas including technology, training, investment, communications and recovery programmes.”
H.E. Lina Annab, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan
Session #1: The ABCs of RESILIENCE
Resilience is the “rubber ball” factor, the ability to recover from whatever adverse occurs. Understanding resilience in the context of travel and tourism is imperative to sustainable positive growth as well as building confidence in travelers. Understanding the situation or adversity, identifying the beliefs associated with the situation and determining what the desired consequences are and how to achieve them. Starting with an academic review of how selected countries have rebounded and what measures of resilience they have employed, speakers will then follow with practical examples, KPIs and monitoring processes as well as lessons learned.
Dr. Lee Miles, Professor, Crisis Management and Disater Recovery, Bournemouth University
H.E. Edmund Bartlett, C.D., M.P., Minister of Tourism, Jamaica
Isabel Hill, Director, National Travel and Tourism Office at US Department of Commerce
Deepak Joshi, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board
Session #2: DESTINATION RESILIENCE: Perception and Brand Management for Sustained Growth
Perception is often different from reality. In this session experts will speak about recognizing often varied perceptions, using or changing them for the benefit of a destination. How does a major airline open up a new destination and ensure perception does not erode success? What role does the press play in establishing perception and how to work with the press to affect perception change – what is the value of data to give credibility to your message? What do NGO’s do to assist? How do/can the efforts of soft power get integrated in reputational change for destinations? Each speaker has 7 minutes, allowing for moderator’s questions followed by Q&A from the delegates.
Rajan Datar, Travel Host, BBC News
Jeremy Jauncey, CEO, Beautiful Destinations
Gail Moaney, Managing Partner, Director, Finn Partners
H.E. Munir Nassar, Dir., Jordan Hotels & Co. Ltd., General Manager, United Travel Agency and International Traders Travel, former Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan
Amjad Tadros, award winning journalist, Producer, CBS News; Co-founder Syria Direct
Kari Diener, Director of Programs, Mercy Corps – soft power of NGOs
Session #3: CREATIVE USE OF ANALYTICS: CASE STUDY JORDAN
Utilizing the agnostic data that is collected via Trip Advisor users, close to a half a million people a month, we can learn what people are saying about destinations and about locales within the destination. We can learn about specific cities, cultural sites, restaurants, even services, what source locations are providing the most interest and even get a general health check of the destination as a whole. Through the analysis of this data, we can determine what the global perception is of that destination, where people are most interested in travelling to within that specific destination. In turn, the destination can target promotions towards areas that are popular and take proactive measures where support is required. In this session, we will see this data in action, as Trip Advisor will prepare an in-depth analysis of Destination: Jordan. By complementing official statistical data, with the multi-dimensional Trip Advisor data, we not only have a 360 degree view of Jordan but an excellent example a successful PPP (public private partnership)!
Amjad Sawalha, Component Leader, Destination Marketing, USAID
Damian Cook, USAID BEST, Consultant to Jordan Tourism Board
Tim Schofield, Destination Team Jordan, TripAdvisor
AFTERNOON KEYNOTE – H.E. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary General, UNWTO
Session #4: BUILDING BUSINESS CONTINUITY
Strategic thinking and creative execution. A look at some successful recovery strategies by travel suppliers and destinations. Travel and tourism businesses must ensure their supply chain resilience through confidence, purpose, social support and adaptability. How are these things translated and communicated down the line? What aspects of continuity are a must? Panelists will share proactive initiatives that have been put in place to insure continuity. What frameworks are in place from governments to address unexpected events?
Ian Taylor, Executive Editor, Travel Weekly Group
Preston Motes, Chief of Party, USAID, Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project
Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA
H.E. Akel Biltaji, Chairman, Abdali Development and Investment Group
Derek Moore, Chairman, AITO
Session #5: ADDRESSING CYBERSECURITY AS PART OF TOURISM RESILIENCE
One strategy for developing destinations is to expand via the events sector of the market – road rallies, sailing competitions, golf tournaments etc. Events such as these are very successful in drawing new visitors to a destination but with this type of expansion comes the need for cyber resilience. In recognition of the online marketing and communication efforts required in any resilience strategy, we have to see the flip side of the coin. People in the region are still reluctant to engage in specific types of digital transactions, such as online payments, or contracts signed with digital signatures yet this acceptance is critical to drive growth. And along with the acceptance comes increased risk and cybersecurity threats. What are issuers putting place to ensure customer safety? The MENA region is the fastest growing ecommerce area in the world, is the MENA travel and tourism sector benefitting or missing out?
Recognized globally as one the greatest threats to businesses, the Middle East’s cybersecurity market will almost double in the next five years, up from $11.38bn in 2017 to $22.14bn by 2022. Price Waterhouse Cooper has reported that “companies in the Middle East are in the top 10 in the world in terms of their investment in cybersecurity technology, but in the bottom 50 for education and training in this area”. Governments alone will not be able to drive such a massive endeavour, partnerships between government and private-sector to deliver training, services and solutions across organizations is fundamental to a successful cybersecurity strategy. Are there any PPP’s driving awareness?
Prof. Lee Miles,Professor, Crisis Management and Disaster Recovery, Bournemouth University
Ramy Kheder, EMEA Director for Enterprise Security Solutions, Mastercard, Dubai
Ajay Prakash, President, IIPT Intl Institute for Peace Through Tourism
Ramzi Khoury, President and CEO of Strategy Falcons
Session #6: SOCIAL MEDIA –@ITCMS@Stayonmessage
Like it or not, social media and the internet in general must be understood and shaped to serve us efficiently and effectively particularly in a crisis. Wrong messaging, too many messages, or not enough will exacerbate the situation and may lead to negative repercussions. This session we will hear from panelists who are recognized in this field and will give lessons learned on what and how to use technology when the $#*! hits the fan. Does being effective require multiple language skills?
Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor, CBS News
Sameh Jarour, Head of Customer Marketing, kiwi.com
Donald Steel, Associate Director, Crisis Communications, Kenyon International
Damian Cook, USAID BEST Consultant to Jordan Tourism Board
Alison Couper, Consultant, formerly with Expedia.com, Hotels.com et al.