World Travel & Tourism Council

The Authority on World Travel & Tourism

Asia Summit September 2013

Seoul, Korea was the venue for WTTC’s first Asia Summit. The Asia Summit was held at the Lotte Hotel, Seoul 10-11 September 2013. This Summit of industry leaders from the private and public sectors took place in a country whose direct tourist economy grew by 10.4% in 2012, making it the 11th fastest growing tourist economy in the world, and the fastest in Asia.

This is the region which will be in the vanguard of tourism development and its growth will impact Travel & Tourism around the world as increasing numbers of Asian travellers make their mark in the global marketplace. The issues to be faced here will be those which command the attention of all the global players in the industry, as well as the political leaders of tourist economies worldwide.

The Asia Summit addressed what needs to be done to harness the enormous growth potential, in Korea and beyond, showcasing countries which are driving the industry with an enlightened approach, and drawing comparisons with positive and negative experiences in other parts of the world. It provides the opportunity for a stimulating exchange between private and public sector, and it will tackle some of the most pressing issues facing Travel & Tourism today.

The theme of the Asia Summit was‘Staying Ahead of Tomorrow’. This theme encapsulates the region’s global lead in technology development; consumer understanding across different cultures; planning ahead for infrastructure build; launching new product; and developing human capital. The Asia Summit was attended by some of the region’s most influential business leaders and decision makers, joined by speakers who talked about global trends and key issues that impact from other parts of the world.



Session 1: Asia - Powerhouse of the World Economy
Our first session examined Asia’s increasingly important political, economic and social place in the world. World renowned economic and political commentators looked at growth forecasts, trade flows and the politics that affect them. They explored the implications of regional growth and politics on how businesses can operate and compete, and the challenges new growth will bring both inside and outside the region.

Session 2: Asia: Powering global Travel & Tourism
This second session followed the macro evaluation of the region and considered Travel & Tourism growth in Asia over the next ten years and how the socio-economic situation discussed in the first session would impact the industry. It explored differences across Asia and how destinations and companies could benefit from rising wealth and increasing demand from within their own countries, regionally and internationally.


Session 3: Korea: Huge potential. Big questions
Having looked at the Asia region from two different perspectives we shined the spotlight on our hosts, Korea. In 2012 Korea’s Travel & Tourism grew faster than any other country in the region. But as much of this was down to the recovery in Japanese tourism after the Tsunami in 2011, the key is to ensure that this growth continues. The Visit Korea 2010-2012 initiative has successfully delivered an increase in visitor numbers and raised awareness of the country overseas, but the country continues to face challenges. Not least the long-running geo-political situation, but also the increasing polarisation within Korean society.

Session 4: Removing the Barriers- Facilitating Visas
Improving visa policies and facilitating visa processes are a priority focus for WTTC and its Global Travel Association Coalition partners. Improvements to visa processes and policies can have a direct positive impact on visitor numbers, receipts and therefore GDP and jobs. The past two years have seen some significant improvements in this arena, not least the formal recognition of its importance by the G20. The aim of this session was to explore the issue as it pertains to Asia and focus on current and future progress.

Session 5: Tourism for Tomorrow
The single greatest challenge the industry faces as it grows will be to ensure that growth brings positive returns for host communities and the environment as well as businesses. In April at its Global Summit in Abu Dhabi, WTTC launched ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’, a position paper which sets out how the industry can grow while maintaining the critical balance between people, planet and profit. This session looked at the elements of ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’, with a focus on Human Resource issues, how they are being adopted throughout Asia and how they will shape WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in the future.

Session 6: Growing capacity sustainably through infrastructure developments
This session evaluated the critical infrastructure requirements to sustain future demand. It looked at the most successful mechanisms to ensure investment and sustainable development of airports, air traffic control systems, cruise terminals, high speed rail, roads, hotels and shopping malls. It also explored the trade dimension and how such infrastructure developments could open up trade through increased connectivity.

Session 7: Trending now and tomorrow
The pace of change across Asia is fast. Companies and destinations need to keep up or they will lose out. This final session explored how technology is driving change, the reaction of the Asian consumer, and looked at those specific technologies which will influence decision making, booking and how the product is consumed. Asia tomorrow will look very different to Asia today, organisations be they public or private sector which plan successfully for that future will be the ones which stay ahead of tomorrow.

Special Session: Wrap-Up - Experts From Beyond Our Industry
Four industry experts from outside Travel & Tourism provided their analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of our industry in Asia. We asked them to reflect on the Summit: what were their reflections on the strengths of the Travel & Tourism industry in Asia? What more can be done to achieve its potential? What can we learn from other industries? What were their company and market insights into consumer behaviour, the future of the industry and the role of governments?

[photograph courtesy: KTO]

- Video Gallery

- Photo Gallery


SHIN Dong-Bin Chairman, Lotte Group

Dr Michael Frenzel Chairman of the Supervisory Board, TUI Deutschland GmbH. and TUIfly GmbH

H.E. CHUNG Hong-Won Prime Minister, Republic of Korea

Doug Anderson President & CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Professor Ian Goldin Director Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford

H.E. Ramon Jimenez Secretary of Tourism, Government of Philippines 

H.E. Mari Elka Pangestu Minister of Tourism & Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia

H. E. YOO Jinryong  Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea

Patrick Andres Vice-President & Regional Managing Director for Asia- Pacific, Travelport

Robert Bailey President & CEO, Abacus International Pte Ltd

Ted J Balestreri Chairman &CEO , Cannery Row Company

David Brett President Asia Pacific, Amadeus IT Group

Abid Butt Chief Executive Officer, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts

Thea Chiesa Director, Head of Aviation, Travel and Tourism Industries, World Economic Forum

CHOI Byung-il  President & CEO, Korea Economic Research Institute

Martin Craigs Chief Executive Officer, PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association)

Ricco De Blank Chief Executive Officer, SHKP Hotels

DU Jiang  Vice Chairman, China National Tourism Administration

Mario Ferreira Chief Executive Officer, Douro Azul

Simon Fiquet Head of Global Travel Accounts APAC, Google

Pier Luigi Foschi Chairman & CEO, Carnival Asia and Chairman of the Board, Costa Crociere SPA

Dhiren Fonseca Chief Commercial Officer, Expedia, Inc.

Angela Gittens Director General, ACI World

Peter Greenberg Travel Editor, CBS News

Peter Harbison Executive Chairman and Founder, CAPA - Centre for Aviation

Mark Israel Chief Executive Officer, Value Retail Management China

Ross Jackson Regional Head of Cross Border Business (APCEMEA), Visa

Christophe Jouan Chief Executive Officer, Future Foundation

JEON Yong-Joo  Chief Executive Officer, IHQ

JUNG Chang-su  President & CEO, Incheon International Airport Corporation

Professor CHON Kaye Kye-Sung  Dean and Chair Professor, School of Hotel & Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Geoffrey J W Kent Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Abercrombie & Kent

KIM Bong-gi  Chief Executive Officer, Incheon Medical Tourism Foundation

Professor. LEE Youn Taek  Professor, Division of Tourism, Hanyang University

Joy Lehman Global Sustainability Manager, The Hertz Corporation

Alan MacCharles Lead Partner, Commercial Strategy and Research, Deloitte

Madhavan Menon Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) LTD.

FAN Min Co-Founder, Vice Chairman of the Board and President, International

James Mueller Vice President - Atlantic and Pacific Sales, United Airlines

Masaru Onishi Chairman, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.

Deepak Ohri Chief Executive Officer, lebua Hotels & Resorts Co, Ltd

PARK Juhum  Chief Executive Officer, Dabeeo Co.

PARK Kwang-moo  President, KCTI (Korea Culture & Tourism Institute)

PARK Sanghwan  President & CEO, Hana Tour

Marcio Favilla L. de Paula Executive Director, Competitiveness, External Relations and Partnerships, World Tourism Organiztion (UNWTO)

Christopher Rodrigues CBE Chairman, Visit Britain

Nick Ross Broadcaster and Journalist

Jeffrey C. Rutledge Chairman & CEO, Travel Guard Worldwide, Inc.

Adam Sacks Founder and President, Tourism Economics, An Oxford Economics Company

David Scowsill President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council

Satoshi Seino Chairman and Director, East Japan Railway Company

SIM Taeho  Partner, A.T. Kearney

John Slosar Chief Executive, Cathay Pacific Airways Limited

Jan Smits InterContinental Hotels Group, Chief Executive AMEA

Hiromi Tagawa JTB Corp, President & CEO

Brett Tollman The Travel Corporation, President & Chief Executive

Arnie Weissman TravelWeekly, Editor in Chief

Takanobu Yamamoto Rakuten Travel Inc., President

Sean Lim Television Anchor, Arirang