Tourism ministers from Egypt, Mexico and South Africa, together with the Deputy Mayor of Frankfurt and the CEO of the Singapore Tourism Board, make up the most senior and influential line-up of politicians yet to take part in the IMEX Politicians Forum in Frankfurt on May 21st.
His Excellency Mr Hisham Zaazou, Minister of Tourism for Egypt; Uwe Becker, Frankfurt Deputy Mayor & City Treasurer; the Honourable Secretary Claudia Ruiz-Massieu, Minister of Tourism for Mexico; the Honorable Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism for South Africa and Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board will be among 35 politicians attending the eleventh IMEX Politicians Forum. All will be invited to sign a new meetings industry ‘Declaration of Support.’

Also new this year, and organised at the request of those attending, will be a private networking breakfast for all attending politicians, which will be facilitated by the Honorable Nick de Bois, MP, UK.

After the breakfast the politicians will attend the IMEX Opening Ceremony, which will be followed by a visit to their destination stand on the show floor. The group then transfers to the Villa Kennedy for a closed panel discussion. During this session they will all be invited to sign the new ‘Declaration of Support’ for the meetings industry**. The declaration will later be circulated throughout the industry and also made public to honour those who have pledged their support and to motivate those who haven’t. The wording has been crafted under the scrutiny of JMIC and other advisors and will also be used to support JMIC’s ‘Speak Up’ campaign. IMEX’s stated ambition, on behalf of the meetings industry, is to achieve 100 signatories for the Declaration of Support by the end of 2013.

The Honorable Ernesto Orillac, Vice Minister of Tourism for Panama was the first to sign the declaration in advance of the show, followed by His Excellency Mr Hisham Zaazou, Minister of Tourism for Egypt.

The Politicians Forum is organised by IMEX under the auspices of the Joint Meetings Industry Council with assistance from all of the leading industry associations. It acts as a focal point for senior meetings industry leaders to meet with political representatives for a single day of facilitated discussion, case studies and a guided tour of the award-winning trade show. In recent years, it has commanded the attention of an increasingly senior political audience who have become more aware of the meetings and events industry’s true economic power. This follows a growing number of impact studies now being funded and undertaken around the world – notably in the US, Mexico, Canada, Germany and, most recently, the UK.

Says IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom: “We belong to an extremely diverse global market which is constantly going through different cycles of change and development. One of the results is that our Politicians Forum is fast becoming the single industry event that mobilises destinations from all over the world to invite their politician’s presence and public support. It also provokes the industry to listen and, importantly, to act. The need for political advocacy never stops and we are always delighted to provide a platform at IMEX in Frankfurt.”