Global tourism leaders and policy makers will discuss the prospects for the travel sector in a virtual International Tourism and Investment Conference (ITIC) summit this month.

ITIC has partnered with World Travel Market for the half-day event that will take place on June 10 (9.15am to 2.45pm British Summer Time).

The summit will be chaired by of Dr Taleb Rifai, former Secretary General of UNWTO, and feature senior speakers from the health sector, tourism ministers and investors.

With tourism firms eager to reopen after worldwide COVID-19 lockdowns, the event will discuss how financial solutions can help the sector re-emerge and prepare for the future.

Dr Rifai said: “We live today in unusual and difficult times.  We are living in a world where uncertainty has prompted so much fear and panic that no one knows what tomorrow will bring.

“As the pandemic threat became clear, governments intervened aggressively – though to varying degrees.  Initially, the focus was on containment and healthcare for the infected.

“But as the long-term threat became clear, the focus moved to life after containment which, without a cure, is also a vital part of living.

“As we emerge from this initial phase we must aim for life with dignity, prosperity and hope.  So, there is a great need to support economic recovery as a matter of urgency and also to implement measures that restore confidence and trust in the hearts and minds of people.

“We must start planning for tomorrow and we must introduce ways and means of bringing back a sense of normality to the world in which we live.”

WTM London senior exhibition director, Simon Press, said: “WTM London is committed to supporting the travel industry as it adapts to the unique challenges of COVID and prepares for recovery, providing platforms for the global travel and tourism industry to share insights.

“This year, WTM London will be the start of the industry recovery as the show will be one of the first travel events taking place in 2020 after the peak of the COVID crisis. Our conversation on June 10 will bring together great minds discussing the trends that will determine the future of the tourism industry”.

The full programme of sessions is available now to view on the ITIC website.

Topics that will be addressed include the current status of tourism and the impact and effectiveness of the financial support rolled out in various countries and regions to the tourism industry.

In addition, leading health experts will discuss the latest advances in research on coronavirus and work to create a vaccine.

The summit will also look at what the future holds for travel and tourism post-pandemic and what initiatives are planned in destinations to create a vibrant and more sustainable and resilient sector.

Admission to the summit is free, and delegates can sign up now to reserve their place.