Geoffrey Lipman, the President of the ICTP (International Coalition of Tourism Partners) and Chairman of the was Chairman and Moderator of the two day sessions of the 2013 Tourism Think Tank that preceded the World Tourism Forum Lucerne.

Twenty known and respected tourism professionals were invited by the World Tourism Forum Lucerne to meet to discuss two points seen as important tourism challenges to tackle prior to the 2013 World Tourism Forum. Hyperconnectivity and Bridging the Silos.

Represented Governments at the Think Tank were the Minister for Tourism of South Africa, Mr Marthinus Van Schalkwyk and the Minister for Tourism and Culture from the Seychelles, Hon. Alain St.Ange. Alain St.Ange is also on the ICTP executive board.

Also participated wasTaleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the UNWTO represented the World Tourism Organisation and other tourism professional from across the world at the Tourism Think Tank 2013 were Martin Barth, the General Manager of the World Tourism Forum, Thea Chiesa, the Director Head of Aviation, Travel and Tourism Industries from the World Economic Forum of Switzerland, Anita Mendiratta, the Lead Consultant CNN T.A.S.K. Group, Martin Craigs, the CEO of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Michael Frenzel from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TUI, Ian Goldin, the Director Oxford Martin School of the University of Oxford, Gloria Guevara Manzo, the Industry Expert and former Minister of Tourism from Mexico, Frank Kilbourn, the Chairman of the Board of the South African Tourism Board (SAT), Tom King, the Senior Vice President of British Airways, Nicholas Mayer, the Industry Leader Lodging & Tourism Clients from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Vijay Poonoosamy, the Vice President International & Public Affairs at Etihad Airways, Christopher Rodrigues, the Chairman of VisitBritain, Jurg Schmid, the director of Switzerland Tourism, Shaun Vorster, the Special Advisor to the Minister of Tourism of South Africa, Tom Windmuller, the Senior Vice President of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Reto Wittwer, the President & CEO of the Kempinski Hotels, Jessica Bruns, the Young mover & Shaper from TUI Germany, Ryan George, the Young mover & Shaper from Simpleview USA, Oleg Kafarov, the Young mover & Shaper from Jumeirah Group in the United Arab Emirates and Pascal Mathis, the Young mover & Shaker from GetYourGuide Switzerland.

An informal session opened the Tourism Think Thank 2013 where delegates discussed challenges they saw from their own perspectives and made propositions for discussion at the formal session of the Think Tank . This session that went on until very late in the night is said to have been the opportunity for many a point seen by all as real challenges were tabled and debated freely. The second day’s meeting is said to have been a more formal setting where Michale Frenzel of WTTC and TUI made a presentation on Hyperconnectivity and Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk presented a paper on Bridging the Silos.

This session went for virtually a whole day with frank, intense and very open discussions. At the end of the day’s work the decision is for tourism at large to see a united grouping of all tourism bodies to meet under the UNWTO to look at all the points discussed and seen as industry challenges.

The 2013 Tourism Think Tank was seen as being a real success and World Tourism Forum Switzerland was congratulated for the initiative and for being the hosts.