World Travel Market to honor Mexico tourism

LONDON -- World Travel Market will give its World Tourism Award 2001 to the Mexico Ministry of Tourism and the Mexico Tourism Board, which together sponsored a public-private partnership that has significantly boosted travel to the country.

WTM will be held at London's Earl's Court Exhibition Center Nov. 12 to 15.

Sponsored by American Express, Avis, International Herald Tribune and Reed Travel Exhibitions, the award will recognize the partnership, which is called the Consejo de Promocion Turistica de Mexico.

Formed in mid-2000 by Mexico's tourism industry and state and federal governments, the partnership functions as an executive agency of Mexico's Ministry of Tourism.

Mexican officials said the country welcomed 20 million international travelers in 2000, an 8.4% increase compared with 1999.

In 2000, revenue from tourist spending reached $8.3 billion, a 14.8% hike over the previous year.

The award will be presented in Earl's Court's central feature area, immediately after the opening ceremony on Nov. 12.

It was established in 1997 by American Express and Reed Travel Exhibitions "to recognize the extraordinary initiative by individuals, companies, organizations, destinations and attractions for outstanding accomplishment in the travel industry."

Peace through Tourism

A new element at WTM 2001 will be a program that outlines peace-through-tourism initiatives worldwide, following the momentum generated at the first Global Summit in Amman, Jordan, last year.

The 2001 program, called Peace through Tourism: The Road to the Second Global Summit, will be staged on Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. in Earl's Court and will officially announce the Second Global Summit on Peace though Tourism Oct. 14 to 17, 2002, at the U.N. Conference Center in Geneva, Switzerland.

The summit, which is being organized by the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT), supports an existing program called U.N. Decade of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.

A series of 2002 events is planned leading up to the Geneva summit. Among them is the First IIPT African Peace Through Tourism Conference in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, March 3 to 7, being organized in collaboration with Africa Travel Association and Mpumalanga Tourism Authority.

The IIPT also launched a Global Peace Parks Project, with a goal of 2,000 Peace Parks circling the Earth in the U.N. Decade of Peace. For more information, visit the IIPT Web site at www.iipt.org.

Customer service debate

In other events planned for World Travel Market 2001, a debate will spotlight a buzzword for the industry: effective customer relationship management (CRM).

In partnership with KPMG, an accounting an consulting firm, World Travel Market will lead the industry one step beyond e-travel with a high profile debate called Who Cares?

The debate will be held at the central feature area on Nov. 13, the second day of the show.

It will bring together three senior industry figures and a consumer representative to address problems and identify opportunities.

"This is the next big challenge facing the travel and leisure industry," said Fiona Jeffery, group exhibition director, "how to manage information technology effectively, while at the same time maintaining and improving customer relationships."

The debate will be chaired by Oliver Tant, a partner in the Travel Practice of KPMG.

"The sector is experiencing a period of intense change," he said. "Travel businesses are facing increasing customer demands, and loyalty is becoming an endangered commodity.

"Challenges are also appearing in the form of consolidation, competing in a global marketplace and differentiating your product from competitors.

"By introducing effective CRM tools, companies can increase their customer base, retain and manage existing customers and benefit their bottom line."

At the debate, KPMG will present key findings from a top-level international survey on customer relationship management practices within the travel industry, commissioned by the firm for World Travel Market.

The results will be drawn from a cross-section of travel and leisure companies in the U.S., the U.K. and the rest of Europe.

For additional information about World Travel Market or to register on line, visit http://wtm.reedexpo.com.

Author Fons Trompenaars to deliver Discovery Lecture

LONDON -- Fons Trompenaars, an international business expert and author, will speak at World Travel Market as part of a new Discovery program aimed at industry professionals.

The Discovery Lecture will be delivered on Nov. 14, at 11 a.m. in the central feature area, and is sponsored by KPMG, an accounting and consulting firm.

Trompenaars is the author of a number of business books, including "Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business," which addresses multicultural management in the emerging global village.

Trompenaars' latest book, published in 1999, is called "21 Leaders for the 21st Century."

The author is managing director of Trompenaars Hampden-Turner Intercultural Management Consulting and a visiting professor at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam (Netherlands) School of Management.

Seats for the Discovery Lecture are limited. Places can be reserved by calling (011) 44-1727 738-857; fax (011) 44-1727 738-867, or e-mail: [email protected].

Meridian Club nominations

LONDON -- World Travel Market 2001 exhibitors are encouraged to nominate as soon as possible the top buyers they wish to become members of Meridian Club.

Meridian Club members are offered exclusive, fast-track entry to World Travel Market on its first two days, Nov. 12 and 13.

Members also can access their own online diary via World Travel Market's Web site, where they are able to request appointments with exhibitors in advance of WTM. Other benefits include a complimentary welcome pack and use of the Meridian Club Lounge.

Inquiries regarding nominations can be made by calling the Meridian Club hot line at (011) 44-1727 738-855; fax: (011) 44-1727 738-866, or e-mail [email protected].

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