Leading tourism experts discuss industry future in Madrid

April 17, 2015 10:16 am 

MADRID, April 17 — More than 1,000 leading experts on tourism from around the world met here at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to discuss issues related to the sector.

The two-day event, which ended Thursday, brought together important figures from 140 different companies including tour operators, travel agencies, airlines, and other businesses related to the industry.

They addressed topics such as companies' competitiveness in the sector, industry growth, environmental issues linked to tourism, and international border regulations.

Experts also discussed the future of the tourism sector in Europe, including the situation of infrastructures and level of investment.

Leading speakers included the former European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary, and Iberia's CEO Luis Gallego.

This was the first time the WTTC was held here after being held outside Europe for eight years. Las Vegas, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, and Hainan previously hosted the event.

The city of Madrid as a world destination and its role as a connection between Spain and Latin America countries were also addressed at the summit.

Spain is the third most-visited destination after the United States and France and it is the second destination in the world to receive the largest amount of money from tourism. The sector is a driving force for the country's economy, representing around 12 percent of its gross domestic product.

Spain is expected to surpass 17.9 million international tourists in the second semester of the year and these tourists are expected to spend more than 16.279 billion euros (about 17.470 billion U.S. dollars) in the country, according to data released by the ministry of industry, energy and tourism. (PNA/Xinhua)



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