Cinnamon Future of Tourism Summit 2019 today

CNN’s Richard Quest leads a lineup of global figures to discuss industry recovery

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts will host the third edition of the Future of Tourism Summit (FOT 2019), to facilitate the resurgence of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry at an accelerated pace.

Exploring topics under the timely theme “Challenges and Growth in Crisis”, this year’s summit has attracted some of the world’s top destination experts, helmed by CNN’s foremost business correspondent Richard Quest.

Endorsed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), FOT 2019 will focus on sensitive topics that will bring to light the recovery and rebuilding efforts of an industry such as tourism that contributes substantially to the economic growth of many countries around the world. With the specialist knowledge of the participating global experts and local industry leaders, the summit will address a myriad of topics under the theme, discussing insights and sustainable strategies that can be integral in overcoming challenges faced by the hospitality and tourism industry of a travel destination such as Sri Lanka.

Leading this year’s exclusive lineup of speakers is Richard Quest – famed CNN international correspondent, Business Editor, and host of Quest Means Business – who will also hold a special discussion on the future of tourism both locally and globally with none other than the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Other star speakers include Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the UNWTO Anita Mendiratta, who will kick off the summit with her keynote address on her topic “Rising Above – Emerging Stronger through Crisis”. Taj Hotels – Tata Group Managing Director and CEO Puneet Chhatwal will share his own experiences and initiatives through his topic “Recovering from a Crisis and Rebuilding the Brand”.

“We first launched the Future of Tourism Summit to focus on innovative industry initiatives that powered the rise of Sri Lanka as one of the world’s major tourist destinations,” John Keells Holdings Vice President, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts Head of Brand Marketing and Cinnamon Life Mall CEO Dileep Mudadeniya commented. “In continuing our innovative approach, we are taking the opportunity of fully utilising the summit as a global platform to discuss timely topics and spearhead sustainable growth across the local tourism industry with insights, understanding, and innovative tools, supported by a global network of industry leaders.”

Mudadeniya will be joined by both Chhatwal and Mendiratta with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Kishu Gomes during FOT 2019 for a panel discussion on “building a recovery marketing plan for all sectors” moderated by E-Tourism Frontiers CEO Damian Cook, who is also scheduled to speak at the event on “priority actions, partners, and channels when connecting with resilient markets”.

The summit will also feature Book My Show Founder and CEO Ashish Hemrajani, who will speak on the “Role of Entertainment in Destination Rebuilding”, TrendOne GmBh Partner Rene Massati on “Use of Design Thinking for Creative Solutions in Marketing”, Southeast Asia Euromonitor International Senior Regional Communications and Marketing Consultant Vesta Ratkeviciute on “Global Consumer Trends; Opportunities for the Travel Industry”, Impetus Alliance CEO and Managing Director Michael Yam on “The breakthrough in Investment Tourism”, STR Business Development Manager – Central and South Asia Vidhi Godiawala on “Post Recovery of Accommodation Sector – Lessons from Other Destinations”, and DER Touristik UK CEO Derek Jones on “Building Destination Confidence Amongst Tour Operators”.

An Investor forum will also be conducted by a panel consisting of Minor Hotel Group CEO Dillip Rajakarier, Resplendent Ceylon MD Malik Fernando, John Keells Holdings Chairman Krishan Balendra, Santani Resort and Spa Founder and CEO Vickum Nawagamuwage, and Jetwing Hotels Chairman Shiromal Cooray, and will be moderated by JB Securities CEO Murtaza Jafferjee.

FOT 2019 will come to a close with a panel discussion including Trip Advisor Head of Destination Marketing APAC Sarah Mathews. Later, they will be joined by Vidhi Godiawala, Derek Jones, and Vesta Ratkevicuite for a Q&A session moderated by Cook himself.