Global travel leaders are to hold part of their 2012 annual conference in the area of Japan worst hit by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March.

The World Travel & Tourism Council has agreed to hold its annual general meeting and executive committee meeting in Sendai in north east Japan next April.

An additional event will be held to focus on the recovery of Japan’s tourism industry, risk management and crisis response. The WTTC expects 400 delegates to attend the Sendai event, with many being international participants, especially from Asia.

The Sendai meetings will be held on April 17 as part of the WTTC’s 12 annual global summit to be staged in Tokyo which runs until April 19 and is expected to attract 1,000 delegates.

WTTC president and chief executive David Scowsill visited Sendai, the main city of Tohoku Region which was most severely affected by the earthquake and tsunami, in June to meet senior local government officials and to visit the affected areas.

He said: “The recovery of Japan is one of the most compelling issues facing global travel and tourism.

“I’m delighted that we will be able to bring the industry’s leaders to Sendai during the Summit week in 2012 as it sends a clear message about our commitment to showing that Japan in general and the Tohoku region in particular have recovered from the tragic events of March 11.”