Case Study: 20th WTTC Global Summit in Cancun

  • The WTTC pointed the way towards tourism reactivation, and Cancun, Mexico’s most popular tourist destination, became the epicenter of global recovery. 

By Jorge J. J. Martínez

The second episode of Coffee Talks with Vicky Marmolejo examined the success of the 20th Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which marked the resumption of international events and meetings.

On this occasion, the guests on the program included Roxana Puente, WTTC regional manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Bernardo Cueto, managing director of the Institute for the Development and Financing of the State of Quintana Roo (IDEFIN).

The WTTC Global Summitserved as a role model for the Meetings Industry, demonstrating that international meetings can be held again with precaution and following protocols.

“As a takeaway from the event,I’dlike to highlight the teamwork and coordination between the government and the private industry, which helps to reactivate the industry. Although we see the light at the end of the tunnel, we must continue to fight,” said Roxana Puente, who announced that Manila, Philippines, will be the next venue for the summit.

Mexico hosted this event for the first time, and Cancun, Mexico’s most touristic destination, served as the venue. Notably, there were only a total of three people found to be infected before the event, but the situation was handled appropriately, avoiding the spread of the virus. 

“The state government took a big gamble to reach out and successfully bid to host the event before the pandemic. It became a huge challenge, but based on the experience of the world summit, today all events in Quintana Roo have been instructed to be thoroughly tested,” said Bernardo Cueto. 

He added that the “health bubble” they created helped to contain the spread of the disease, which is why this model will be replicated in spaces where people coexist daily. 

Cancun was one of the first destinations to obtain the WTTC Safe Travels stamp, already held by more than 280 destinations indicating that they are ready to receive tourists. 

Roxana wrapped up her participation by saying that virtually 50% of the travel and tourism sector jobs were affected by the pandemic, which translates into more than 160 million jobs.

In addition, Bernardo reported that Cancun was one of the most visited destinations in the world in 2020 and that 2021 will reach 70% of the number obtained in 2019. There is even data revealing that May 2021 was already better than May 2019.

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