Why Taleb Rifai Is Coming to Barbados

Taleb Rifai

Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai will make his first ever appearance at a Caribbean Tourism Organization event when he presents at the State of the Tourism Industry Conference next month.

Rifai will be joined by the President of the World Travel and Tourism Council David Scowsill and CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley on a panel to discuss how to pilot an industry that is subject to a constant state of change.

“The commitment of the UNWTO and the WTTC to participate in this conference fulfills our mandate to make leaders of the global industry accessible to our members, to share information with us and exchange ideas on how to resolve issues and challenges and how to take advantage of opportunities in tourism globally,” said Riley.

During the session, entitled “No Place For The Status Quo,” the tourism leaders will delve into issues such as shifting demographics and how to continuously align the product to consumers’ tastes.

“There is really no status quo in the tourism sector,” said Riley. “Things are constantly changing; it’s a dynamic industry, it’s vulnerable to external shocks but it always recovers. When we look at issues that affect public health, security, terrorism, economic shocks, all of these things affect and the sustainability of the tourism.”

The session takes place from 9:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 16, immediately following the feature address by Craig Landry, the president of Air Canada Leisure Group.

The State of the Tourism Industry Conference – themed “Honoring Our Legacy, Defining Our Future” – brings together tourism decision-makers, including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, hotel and airline executives, students, the media and other persons.

A number of other presenters have been confirmed for SOTIC, which will explore subjects ranging from how to transition the product and multicultural and emerging markets to creating a luxury experience and sharing the economy.

This year’s conference at the Hilton Barbados Resort is organized in collaboration with Barbados’ Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.


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