“The Summit has come to an end – a fusion of culture and technology,” said Mr Nishida, Chairman of the Japan Summit’s Host Committee, in his closing address.
“With half a day in Sendai and one and half days in Tokyo, this has been the longest summit in its history with a total of nine sessions,” he noted. “It has been one of the most demanding yet most rewarding conventions I have ever attended – even more so as a host.
“I am very proud that Japan successfully hosted the Global Summit, only one year after the tragic events of 11 March 2011. Thank you again for travelling to Japan to show your solidarity and support to us. I believe many new friendships have been created during the summit between delegates,” Mr Nishida said. “Let us prise those bonds and make them last for a long time.”
Mr Nishida added that he was personally glad that the next summit would be held in Abu Dhabi. “My first job started in Iran when I joined a Toshiba subsidiary there. Since then, I have had a lot of good experiences with people in the Middle East.
“The Middle East is very far from Japan, not only in distance but in nature, history and culture. But, tourism can bring us together. That is one of the great contributions tourism can make to the global society. I am confident that WTTC, as the global authority in on tourism, will continue to be a key player to make good things happen in the world through tourism.
“Thank you once again for organising the Summit and, of course, to our friends from Abu Dhabi, I wish you a very successful Summit next year.”
“As I now draw the 12th Annual WTTC Global Summit to a close, I would like to thank you all for your participation and input over the past few days,” WTTC President & CEO David Scowsill told delegates. “We have enjoyed your company and your valuable insight that will shape our thoughts and actions over the coming months, as we continue our journey to champion the cause of the Travel & Tourism industry.
“I believe we have demonstrated over the past few days that progress is being made in this industry,” Scowsill added. “There is clear evidence that doors ARE starting to open and our voice IS being heard at the highest levels of government.
“I believe we have proved that when we join together as an industry, and act as partners in coalition, we exude a laser focus that can be really effective in delivering our objectives. It is not just the organisational alignment that is important between the partners in this coalition; the leaders believe in what we are doing together and there is great personal chemistry between us all.
“I believe we have started to show the kind of leadership that is befitting of an industry that can generate growth, jobs, prosperity and sustainability at both global and regional level, like no other industry on this planet can.
“We are responsible for 255 million jobs and a US$6 trillion, or 9%, contribution to global GDP. This means we are bigger than the automotive industry – bigger than mining, bigger than manufacturing. For every US$1 spent in Travel & Tourism, we generate US$3 for the economy.
“As an industry, we will continue to drive the sustainability agenda forward. The leaders of WTTC are finding that the balance between people, the planet and making profits is not only achievable, but also essential for consumers and for every employee of their organisations. I believe that together we can become a Force for Good that is respected and welcomed by all – wherever our journey takes us.
“Today we leave our friends in Japan with gratitude in our hearts and with a refreshed purpose from our visit here,” Scowsill said. “We were shocked, and impressed, in equal measure by what we saw in the Tohoku Province earlier this week.
“WTTC responded to the invitation by Mr Nishida, Mr Otsuka and Mr Tagawa to bring the Summit to Japan. We hope that we have contributed significantly to the recovery of the tourism business here. Thank you.
“All of us are looking forward to being hosted in Abu Dhabi next year from 8-10 April. Put it in your calendar now. It is a wonderful destination, with superb facilities, with a great airline to take us there. I would like to thank HE Mubarak al Muhairi and, in particular, our WTTC Vice Chairman James Hogan for inviting us.”
In his response to Mr Nishida and David Scowsill, James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, and newly appointed WTTC Vice Chairman said: “I think you would all agree, we have spent a remarkable time here in Japan and we owe a debt of thanks to our hosts for their generous and gracious hospitality.
“The recovery of this country and its resilience in overcoming adversity is an inspiring testament to the stoic determination, hard work and innate self-discipline of the Japanese people.
“I am proud that our industry has also been able play its role in the ongoing restoration and regeneration of Japan by linking it with global business and by bringing in tourists from around the world.
“And we remain committed to supporting Japan in the long task of rebuilding. But now the focus moves to Abu Dhabi and the Middle East where next year’s summit will be held.
“In Abu Dhabi too, the travel and tourism industry is fundamental to the city’s meteoric growth and its emerging role on the global stage.
“It was [thanks to] recognising this potential that the Government of Abu Dhabi established Etihad Airways in 2003. In the ensuing years, billions of dollars have been invested in creating an aviation infrastructure to realise the government’s vision for our modern city.
“Today Etihad Airways is a five billion dollar business which, after eight years, will carry 10 million passengers to more than 80 destinations from its home base in Abu Dhabi.
“As much as it is a driver and catalyst for economic development and diversification in Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways is also part of the exciting and dynamic emergence of a new aviation and aerospace hub in the Middle East.
“Today Abu Dhabi is an exciting and dynamic place to be and I have no doubt you will enjoys its hospitality and be amazed at its energy when you attend the summit in 2013,” Hogan said.
“With our partners and friends at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, we look forward to welcoming you onboard an Etihad Airways flight to Abu Dhabi and hosting you at the Summit.”