Inaugural summit of World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage to be held in September 

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The inaugural Global Leadership Summit on culture and heritage in tourism will take place in Spain from 24 to 25 September.

Organised by the World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) along with Visit Valencia, the summit invites public and private sector stakeholders to address issues of critical importance about the future of cultural tourism and the communities living in, around, and within global heritage sites.

High-level speakers from national government organisations, lending institutions, heritage organisations, tourism departments, local communities, academia, as well as private sector representatives will convene to focus on creating viable businesses and building better livelihoods for people living in heritage communities connected to tourism.  

Key sessions include the case for investment in heritage destinations, balancing tourism growth with heritage conservation, the latest global trends in cultural and heritage in tourism, better capacity building, training and education.

“We believe that focused efforts can improve the lives and wellbeing of local communities and custodians through better implementation of best practices,” said Nigel Fell, CEO of WTACH.

The line-up of international guest speakers include Rajan Data – BBC, London as Key Moderator, Dawn Drew – Summit MC, Global Tourism Destination Specialist – New York; Anne Grady – Senior Advisor to the European Parliament – Brussels; Imad Barrakad, Chairman SMIT (Morocco Agency for Tourism Development) – Rabat, Morocco; Bruce Poon Tip – Founder G Adventures, Toronto, Karl Burrows – Head of Maori Tourism Development – Tourism New Zealand – Auckland; Debbie Flynn – Managing Partner and Global Practice Leader – Finn Partners – London; Emma Nardi – President, International Council of Museums (ICOM) – Rome; Judy Kepher-Gona, Founder, Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda – Nairobi; Scott Wayne – President – SWA Development – Sustainable Destinations – Washington DC; Nada Hosking – National Geographic Explorer & Social Impact Leader – Austin, Texas; Miguel Angel Perez – Brands & Markets Director, Visit Valencia, Valencia.

According to Chris Flynn, the Chairman of WTACH, the Global Leadership Summit programme has been designed to attract representatives from governments, tourism boards, leading private sector decision makers, tour operators, corporate sponsors, community representatives, NGOs, media and others.

“With the summit theme ‘Celebrating our Past – Securing our Future,’ our programme encourages attendees to contribute to new directions, priorities and attitudes towards culture and heritage in tourism,” said Flynn.

While the summit formally concludes on the evening of 25 September, an optional training will be held on the morning of the 26th for culture and heritage tourism practitioners.

Early bird registrations for the event is available until 7 July.

Established in 2018, the World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) seeks to establish clear goals, objectives and strategies for the protection of cultural heritage through responsible and sustainable tourism practices. Working in collaboration with public, private and specialist academic sector organisations, WTACH determines best practice ethical principles and standards in line with the most robust global research available. WTACH is based in New South Wales, Australia.