Tourism and Green Investments

World Tourism Day 2023: Tourism and Green Investments

27 - 28 September | Four Seasons Hotel, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

 For World Tourism Day 2023, UNWTO highlights the need for more and better-targeted investments for people, for planet and for prosperity. Now is the time for new and innovative solutions, not just traditional investments that promote and underpin economic growth and productivity.

World Tourism Day 2023 | Tourism and green investments


10:00 - 10:30

  • H. E. Mr Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, Saudi Arabia
  • Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO
10:30 - 10:40
10:40 - 11:15

  • Opening remarks by HH P. Haifa Al Saud, Vice Minister of Tourism, Saudi Arabia
  • Moderator: Ms. Suzan Kianpour, Journalist, BBC News
  • Young people have growing concerns around the environmental impact of travel. They have increased consciousness.
  • Travelers are increasingly questioning sustainability initiatives – are they really sustainable or greenwashing.
  • There is a lack of understanding of importance and good of travel: Weighting benefits vs. unintended consequences.
  • How do we bridge the cultural gaps and highlighting the value of tourism?
  • H.E. Mr. Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Türkiye
  • H.E. Mr. Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Türkiye
  • Ms. Julia Simpson, CEO, WTTC
  • Mr. Nika Gilauri, CEO, Reformatics
  • Mr. Niall Gibbons, Tourism Sector Head, NEOM
  • Mr. Leo Wang, CEO, Swiss Education Group
11:15 - 11:50

  • Moderator: Ms. Suzan Kianpour, Journalist, BBC News
  • Concerns of employees relating to job security, post-COVID, of the risks of going back into travel
  • Travel & Tourism is not a magnet for top talent
  • Curriculum refresh – how up to date are we?
  • H.E Ms. Rizki Handayani Mustafa, Deputy Minister for Industry and Investments, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Republic of Indonesia
  • H.E. Ms. Angela Herliani Tanoesoedibjo, Vice Minister, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Republic of Indonesia
  • Mr. Juan Jose Güemes Barrios, Vice President Finance IE University
  • Ms. Christine Böckelmann, Dean, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
  • Mr. Haitham Mattar, Managing Director, EMEA, IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Mr. Benoit Etienne-Domenget, CEO, Sommet Education
11:50 - 12:00

  • H.E. Mr. Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, Saudi Arabia
  • Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General, UNWTO
12:00 - 12:35

  • Moderator: Mr. Jacopo Dettoni, Editor, fDi Intelligence, Financial Times
  • Top destinations get the majority of tourism, causing overcrowding and negative environmental impact on a few destinations
  • The majority of destinations are underserved by tourism and don't reap benefits (Untapped potential)
  • New places, new times (dispersion)
  • Moving investments to new destinations
  • Mr. Gines Martinez, CEO, JTG part of Alpitour World
  • Mr. Gregory Djerejian, Group Head of Investments and Legal, Red Sea Global
  • Ms. Roula Jouny, CEO, Tourism 365
  • H.E. Ms. Rosa Ana Morillo Rodriguez, Secretary of State, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Spain
12:35 – 13:10

  • Moderator: Mr. Marcelo Risi, Chief of Communications, UNWTO
  • Aviation accounts for the largest % of GHG emissions of the sector
  • Challenges of the sector re low profit margins and lack of economies of scale
  • Countries such as France shifting policies around short-haul travel
  • New technologies and solutions to enable sustainability
  • H.E. Mr. George Ian Gooding-Edghill, Minister, Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Barbados
  • Mr. Ibrahim S. Koshy, CEO, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA)
  • Mr. Peter Bellew, Chief Operations Officer, Riyadh Air
  • Mr. Basel Talal, Managing Director for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Levant, Radisson Hotel Group
13:10 - 14:50


14:50 – 15:25

  • Moderator: Ms. Suzanne Kianpour, Creator & Host, Women Building Peace
  • Travel & Tourism not at the forefront of cutting edge technology
  • Integrating new tech in travel – business model transformation required
  • Incentivizing innovation through policy
  • H.E. Ms. Angellah Jasmine Mbelwa Kairuki, Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, United Republic of Tanzania
  • Mr. Robin Ingle, CEO Ingle International
  • Mr. Muzzammil Ahussain, CEO, Almosafer
  • Mr. Frédéric Degret, CEO, Noah ReGen
15:25 – 16:00

  • Moderator: Ms. Suzan Kianpour, Journalist, BBC News
  • How do we better enable entrepreneurs who account for 80% of the sector
  • Financing challenges
  • Opportunity for women and youth
  • Supporting SMEs in the sector- low resilience
  • H.E. Ms. Yadira Gomez, Minister, Ministry of Tourism, Honduras
  • Ms. Julia Simpson, CEO, WTTC
  • Mr. Javier Villamizar, Operating Partner, SoftBank
  • Mr. Ahmed Daoud, Executive Director of Innovation, Royal Commission for AlUla
  • Mr. Eduardo Carmona, CEO, Sudamerik
16:00 - 16:30

  • Setting the scene
  • Announcement of winners
  • Presentation round of winners
16:30 - 16:45


16:45 – 16:50


16:50 – 17:00


10:00 - 10:07

  • Mr. Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Board Member of the Saudi Tourism Authority
10:07 – 10:12

  • Mr. Arnold Donald, WTTC Chair
10:15 – 10:50

The Travel & Tourism sector's economic competitiveness is significantly impacted by climate change and environmental degradation. To reach the sector's ambitious goal, actionable and accessible solutions are needed in addition to additional investment amounting to $220-310 billion a year through to 2030. What solutions and policies can be implemented by governments around the world to ensure a sustainable tourism future that is both competitive and good for people and planet?

  • H.E. Khalid Al Falih, Minister, Ministry of Investment, Saudi Arabia
  • H.E. Patricia De Lille, Minister, Ministry of Tourism, South Africa
  • H.E. Nikolina Brnjac, Minister, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Croatia
  • H.E. Shirpad Yesso Naik, Minister, Ministry of Tourism, India
  • H.E. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister, Ministry of Tourism,Investments, and Aviation, Bahamas
10:50 – 11:25

  • Moderator: Ms. Maria Ramos, International News Anchor

From biometric scans and digital passes to in-app room keys and robots that handle luggage and cleaning, technological innovations are transforming the sector and reshaping the entire end-to-end traveler experience. Today, over 48% of baby boomers are demanding technologies to reduce queues and 45% of passengers are ready to discard their paper passport. As we look to the future, how can the sector better refine its end-to-end experience while still maintaining meaningful human connections?

  • H.E. Gloria Guevara, Chief Special Advisor to the Minister of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, Saudi Arabia
  • Mr. PierFrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruise
  • Mr. Ritesh Agarwal, CEO, OYO
  • Mr. Matthew Upchurch, CEO, Virtuoso
  • Mr. Greg Webb, CEO, Travelport
11:25 – 12:00

  • Moderated by Ms. Anita Mendiratta, Special Advisor to UNWTO Secretary-General and Saudi Tourism Authority

Investment in destination development is vital for the tourism industry as it enhances the visitor experience, boosts competitiveness, drives economic growth, creates employment opportunities, diversifies the economy, promotes sustainability, and facilitates effective destination branding and marketing. By committing resources to develop and improve a destination's tourism infrastructure and services, destinations can attract more tourists, increase revenue, and generate long-term benefits for the local community.

  • HRH Prince Turki Bin Talal, Governor of Aseer region and Head of Aseer Development Authority
  • Ms. Jerry Inzerillo, Group Chief Officer of DGDA
  • Mr. Fatih Tamince, Managing Partner FTG Development and Executive Board Member Rixos Hospitality
12:00 – 12:35

  • Moderated by Ms. Suzan Kianpour, Journalist, BBC News

Tourism investment enablement is a process of creating an environment conducive to attracting and facilitating investments through infrastructure development, regulatory framework, investment incentives, in addition to marketing and public-private partnerships

  • Ms. Saleh Al Khatbi, Deputy of Investment Development, Saudi Arabia
  • Ms. Raul Gonzalez, Chairman of Barcelo Group
12:35 - 12:40


12:40 - 12:55


12:55 - 14:00


Category tags