ZIMBABWE will not be participating at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)-sponsored Third Travel and Tourism Summit in Vilmoura, Portugal from May 15 to 17 scuttlin
g plans to resuscitate the ailing tourism industry.
The industry has of late been on a downturn as a result of the bad publicity caused by the land programme.
Receipts from the industry tumbled to US$75,7 million from an all-time high of US$201,6 million in 1999.
Tourism promotion bodies said this week they were not participating at the summit.
“We were not notified of the summit so we won’t be in Portugal,” said a Zimbabwe Congress of Tourism (ZCT) official.
No comment could be obtained from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) as the marketing and communications executive director Givemore Chidzidzi was said to be away.
But insiders said ZTA was not taking part in the summit.
The Vilmoura summit brings together high level travel and tourism executives and government officials from around the world, as well as other people involved in the industry at the most senior level.
Its main thrust is to build confidence in the face of terrorism, managing risk in an uncertain world, understanding shifting customer behaviour, and addressing some of the issues facing the industry.
Key figures to grace the summit include among others, astronaut Neil Armstrong, President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio and over 30 company executives of similar stature.
The results of the discussions and debates will form the basis of a new blueprint for tourism to be published by WTTC after the summit.
WTTC is the forum for global business leaders comprising the presidents, chairs and chief executive officers of 100 of the world’s top companies.
It is the only body representing the private sector in all parts of the travel and tourism industry worldwide.
According to WTTC, directly and indirectly, the travel and tourism industry constitutes 11% of global gross domestic product (GDP).
This amounts to US$3,575 billion and accounted for 8% of worldwide employment.
WTTC estimates that by 2010, the travel and tourism’s contribution will grow to 11,6% (US$6,591 billion) of global GDP and account for 9% of total employment.