THE world travel industry meets in Portugal this week, to discuss the global travel slump.The meeting will address the industry's downturn following the 2001 terror attacks on America, the war in Iraq and the deadly SARS virus, all of which discouraged many people from traveling.The sixty speakers at the World Travel and Tourism Council meeting include several presidents of major international airlines and hotel chains.Following the SARS outbreak earlier this year, travel bookings for destinations in Asia, the region worst affected, fell by sixty percent.
In a statement about the breakout session he will moderate at the 3 rd Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Vilamoura on May 15 - 17, Alex Kyriakidis, Managing Partner, Travel, Tourism & Leisure, Deloitte & Touche, said: "I can't remember when the Travel & Tourism sector had faced so many challenges - with war, terrorism, economic slowdown and now SARS. As a consequence, many highly leveraged players are in difficulty and share prices of publicly quoted companies are trading at substantial discounts to asset values. In this situation, opportunities are bound to arise and I would expect a wave of re-structuring and consolidation activity. The private equity market is awash with capital and over US$25billion is looking for a home. I would not be surprised to see several real estate oriented deals with companies who are simultaneously asset rich and debt heavy. Internet consolidators, tour operators, airlines and hospitality companies are all likely to come under considerable pressure. However, consolidation will not be the only theme; I believe there will be openings for entrepreneurs in gaming and betting, with particular growth in the UK and South East Asia . In short, we could be on the verge of a dramatic restructuring of the whole Travel & Tourism sector."
In the Summit breakout entitled 'Investment Outlook', Alex Kyriakidis will lead a discussion that will identify where the best investment opportunities will lie and what the profit drivers will be. To assist the analysis, he will divide Travel & Tourism into four broad segments, Airlines, Tour Operators, Hospitality & Leisure and Gaming & Betting. Within each segment, he will also seek consensus on the likely winners and the losers. The audience will be invited to contribute their views, as will a panel of top executives, including: David Mongeau , Vice Chairman, CIBC World Markets Laurence Geller , Chairman & CEO Strategic Hotel Capital Ramsey Mankarios , Vice President, Kingdom Holding Group Paul Slattery, Director , Otus & Co
The 3 rd Global Travel & Tourism Summit is being organised by the World Travel & Tourism Council and will take place on May 15th - 17th in Vilamoura, Portugal. The event will be attended by top level company executives and government officials from around the world, and other people involved in the Travel & Tourism industry at the most senior level. The Summit's main objectives are to help the Travel & Tourism industry to come together to rebuild confidence in the face of war, terrorism, disease and economic slowdown, to turn challenges in to opportunities, to build a vision of 'New Tourism' and initiate a strategy to achieve it.
Other confirmed speakers include James Rubin, Former US Assistant Secretary of State, Neil Armstrong, the astronaut, the President and Prime Minister of Portugal (Jorge Sampaio and José Manuel Durão Barroso), the Chairmen of American Express (Ken Chenault), Iberia (Xabier de Irala), Marriott International (Bill Marriott), Qatar Airways (Akbar Al Baker), Six Continents (Sir Ian Prosser), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Barry Sternlicht), TUI (Michael Frenzel) and over 30 more top executives of companies of similar stature. Travel & Tourism is the world's biggest industry, accounting for nearly 200million jobs, and over 10 per cent of world GDP, more than US$3,500 billion.