World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage Hosts Inaugural Leadership Summit in Valencia, Spain

The World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) is set to host its first annual leadership summit in Valencia, Spain on 24-25 September.

The summit aims to tackle the major challenges and opportunities related to culture and heritage in the tourism industry. Stakeholders from various sectors, including government organizations, heritage institutions, tourism departments, academia, and the private sector, are invited to participate and share their perspectives on these crucial issues.

The main focus of the summit is to promote responsible cultural and heritage tourism worldwide, with the goal of safeguarding and preserving the world’s rich cultural heritage. The event will bring together renowned experts and professionals who will engage in discussions and sessions revolving around topics such as investment in heritage destinations, finding a balance between tourism growth and heritage conservation, global trends in cultural and heritage tourism, and capacity building and education.

One of the key features of the summit is the inclusivity it offers to all attendees. A dedicated session will provide an opportunity for every delegate to contribute their thoughts, ideas, and experiences, ensuring a diverse range of perspectives and insights.

WTACH, in collaboration with Visit Valencia, has chosen the vibrant city of Valencia, Spain as the host location for the summit. Known as Europe’s Green Capital 2024, Valencia provides a fitting backdrop for discussions centered on sustainable tourism and the preservation of cultural heritage.

Nigel Fell, CEO of WTACH, expressed his belief that focused efforts can significantly improve the lives and well-being of local communities and custodians through the implementation of best practices. The summit aims to pave the way for better implementation of these practices, ultimately leading to enhanced livelihoods for people residing in heritage communities connected to tourism.

The event boasts an impressive lineup of esteemed international guest speakers. Among them are Rajan Data from BBC in London, who will serve as the key moderator, and Dawn Drew, a global tourism destination specialist from New York, who will act as the Summit MC. Other notable speakers include Anne Grady, Senior Advisor to the European Parliament in Brussels; Imad Barrakad, Chairman of SMIT (Morocco Agency for Tourism Development) in Rabat, Morocco; Bruce Poon Tip, Founder of G Adventures in Toronto; and Karl Burrows, Head of Maori Tourism Development at Tourism New Zealand in Auckland, among others.

Chris Flynn, Chairman of WTACH, emphasized that the Global Leadership Summit program is designed to attract representatives from various sectors, including governments, tourism boards, private sector decision-makers, tour operators, corporate sponsors, community representatives, NGOs, and the media. The summit’s theme, “Celebrating our Past – Securing our Future,” encourages participants to contribute to new directions, priorities, and attitudes regarding culture and heritage in tourism.

While the formal sessions of the summit conclude on the evening of 25 September, there will be an optional training session on the morning of the 26th for practitioners in culture and heritage tourism. However, spaces for this session are limited to 25 participants.

Interested individuals are encouraged to take advantage of the early bird registration available until 7 July to secure their spot at this landmark event. Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of shaping the future of culture and heritage tourism!

In conclusion, the inaugural leadership summit organized by the World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage promises to be a significant gathering of industry leaders, experts, and stakeholders who will delve into the challenges and opportunities of culture and heritage in tourism. The summit aims to foster responsible tourism practices and ensure the preservation of cultural heritage sites worldwide. With an esteemed lineup of speakers and a focus on collaboration and inclusivity, this event has the potential to shape the future of the industry. Register now to join the conversation and contribute to the global efforts in culture and heritage conservation in tourism.

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