Robert Redford at WTTC Americas Summit

London (United Kingdom) – 13 May 2012 – Robert Redford, Hollywood legend, and Roberto Hernández Ramirez, Chairman of the Board, Banco Nacional de Mexico, SA, and former CEO of Banamex, are the latest in a long line of distinguished speakers who will be at the inaugural WTTC Americas Summit in the Riviera Maya, Mexico, next week.

From the May 16-18, 2012, key industry figures from the public and private sectors, NGOs, and the media will convene for a unique networking forum. The event will be the first in a series of WTTC “Regional Summits,” and will explore commonalities, as well as challenges throughout the travel and tourism industry in the Americas while identifying opportunities for growth and collaboration.

Redford and Hernandez Ramirez are added to a list of speakers that already includes Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and Telecoms entrepreneur, Carlos Slim. They will be joined by Ministers of Tourism from around the world including Secretary Gloria Guevara of Mexico; US Deputy Secretary of State, Thomas Nides; Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization; executives from hotels, airlines, tour operators, and travel agencies; and key opinion leaders from the media such as CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg.

The theme for the inaugural WTTC Americas Summit is “Travel&Tourism: Generating jobs and prosperity.” This aligns with the priorities of the T20 meeting of the G20 Tourism Ministers, that takes place immediately before in Merida, Mexico, and the upcoming G20 meeting of global leaders in Los Cabos, Mexico, in June. Sessions will cover the trends shaping the future of the industry, collaboration between public and private sectors, enhancing air connectivity to drive growth, easing visa restrictions to promote travel, building a sustainable future, and enhancing the workforce.

Travel and tourism plays a significant role in the economies of the Americas, not least in Mexico where the industry accounts for 9 percent of the country’s annual gross domestic product and employs approximately 2.5 million people. One of the highlights of the summit is sure to be the address from Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón who has positioned tourism as a national priority and driver of growth and prosperity.

In total, there are 8 sessions and 4 high-profile interviews over 2 days:


The Presidential Perspective – an audience with President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa

A special interview with Carlos Slim

Session 1 – Working together for jobs and growth

A special interview with Robert Redford

Session 2 – Opening skies means opening up for business

Session 3 – Investing now in infrastructure for tomorrow

Session 4 – Succeeding with sustainability

Session 5 – Stimulating growth through freedom to travel


A special interview with Roberto Hernández Ramirez

Session 6 – Enhancing the workforce for continued jobs growth

Session 7 – Keeping up with digital and social media

Session 8 – Marketing for growth

The summit will attract delegates from across the Americas, including Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and North America.

David Scowsill, President and CEO of the WTTC, said: “This inaugural WTTC Americas Summit is shaping up to be a great event. We have some of the biggest names in business in the Americas like Carlos Slim and Hector Ramirez, alongside leading figures in the travel industry globally speaking at the event and are confident that the sessions will be both lively and informative. The summit also represents a great place to meet, do business, and network.”