World Tourism Forum Lucerne lines up star-studded speakers at 2019 event


The 6th World Tourism Forum Lucerne has assembled some of the finest brains in the tourism industry at this year’s forum scheduled to take place in Luzerne on May 2 and 3, 2019.

More than 550 participants from 80 countries, including CEOs, ambassadors, investors and professors, have registered to meet start-ups and talented young professionals. The focus is on innovation, talent and diversity management.

The speakers and panel participants are top specialists in their field. As a kick-off event, the Start-up Innovation Camp sets a milestone yesterday. There will also be further side events to enrich the Forum.

Innovative business models are constantly changing the travel, tourism and hotel industries. This technology-driven change forces organizations to question long established structures in order to remain at the forefront of their sectors. In addition, the focus of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne will be on the innovators themselves. In other words, the human capital of the industry. In addition, the focus of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne will be on the innovators themselves. In other words, the human capital of the industry.

Top Speakers and Panelists
The speaker lineup is a stellar group of international specialists, including Musimbi Kanyoro (President & CEO, Global Fund for Women), HE Rania Al-Mashat (Minister of Tourism, Arab Republic of Egypt), Haitham Mattar (CEO, Tourism Development Authority of the Government of Ras Al Khaimah), Kate Walsh (Dean & E.M. Statler Professor, Cornell University), Maud Bailly (Chief Digital Officer, AccorHotels) and Puneet Chhatwal (CEO,

The Indian Hotels Company Limited). Among the speakers from Switzerland are Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin (Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research), Karolin Frankenberger (Professor & Director of the Institute of Management & Strategy, University of St. Gallen), Andreas Schmid (Entrepreneur; Chairman, Helvetica Capital AG; Board Member, Radisson Hospitality; Chairman, Zurich Airport) and Jean-Claude Biver (Non-executive Chairman of the LVMH watchmaking division;Chairman of the Board, Hublot; Chairman of the Board, Zenith).

A Unique Global Network
The World Tourism Forum Lucerne is a unique platform where the world’s leading tourism,
travel and hospitality companies meet to build a more sustainable future. It provides
decision-makers with in-depth insight into key tourism issues and a unique global network.
The World Tourism Forum Lucerne is the only platform that brings together start-ups, next generation leaders and students with investors, government ministers and CEOs.

Over the past ten years, the platform has evolved into a year-round network of leaders and
innovators from diverse backgrounds (business, education, government, finance and society)
who are driving positive changes in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.

As the digitalization of everyday life continues to advance, it causes drastic changes –
including how we plan, book, travel, and spend our holidays. Martin Barth, CEO of the WTFL,points out that the Forum has evolved into a global platform with a strong multi-stakeholder community: “We believe that innovation must be actively managed to meet the ongoing changes in the tourism, travel and hospitality industries. For this reason, we bring together established companies, investors and start-ups, because this is the only way to create something new. Switzerland can be proud to be the home of the ‘WEF in Tourism’.

Tourism by Tomorrow
The World Tourism Forum Lucerne aims not only to be an event, but to create value and generate knowledge based on the topics of talent, innovation, sustainable development and diversity. With the “Tourism by Tomorrow” initiative launched in 2018, Lucerne became a hub for innovation in the tourism and travel industry. This project is supported by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the New Regional Policy (NRP), the City of Lucerne and various cooperation and industrial partners such as Bürgenstock Selection and Orascom Development by Samih Sawiris. The project also includes a one-week camp for Swiss and global start-ups, which is scheduled to take place for the first time in 2021.

Another element of the program is an online platform that connects start-ups with investors and service providers. The platform’s core is a structured database which continually tracks down promising start-ups in the areas of tourism, travel, mobility and health, thus creating an entrepreneurial “ecosystem”.

“Bye Bye Plastic Bags” – Environmental Activist in Lucerne
The 16-year-old Indonesian-Dutch environmental activist Isabel Wijisen will present “Youth making waves” at the World Tourism Forum Lucerne. The presentation will be on Friday, May 3, 2019, from 3:40 to 4:10 pm. Isabel Wijsen, who lives in Bali, is regarded as a peer of Greta Thunberg and represents a generation that is actively and vehemently involved in
environmental policy.

In 2013, Isabel and her sister, Melati, then 10 and 12 years old, founded the movement “Bye Bye Plastic Bags” on their home island of Bali. Within six years, the movement had grown into a global network. The extensive plastic clean-up in 2017 and 2018 triggered a tremendous response and the campaign became a legend under the banner of the movement “One Island One Voice”. Isabel Wijsen has spoken on world stages such as TED, the United Nations and at the conference “Our Oceans”. She was selected by Forbes as one of the top ten most inspiring women in 2017. Isabel and her older sister were awarded the CNN Heroes Young Wonders in December 2018 and were selected by TIME as one of the top 25 most influential teenagers of 2018. Isabel is in the 11th grade at Greenschool in Bali and will graduate from high school next year.

Uprising Tourism Destination: Ras Al Khaimah at WTFL
Ras Al Khaimah is one of the world’s fastest growing tourism destinations. As the northernmost United Arab Emirates, it boasts a rich culture and a long-standing history dating back 7000 years. Ras Al Khaimah’s industry collaborates closely with the government and other stakeholders in order to position itself as an innovative destination with continuing development of its tourism infrastructure, sustainable investment opportunities and enhancement of the quality of life for its residents. As the Guest Destination for the World Tourism Forum Lucerne during a two-year collaboration, Ras Al Khaimah will host three events in 2020. Namely, the WTFL Think Tank for influential global leaders, the WTFL Talent Boost for young talent, which will be held in cooperation with a local university, and the WTFL Start-Up Innovation Camp, which brings together the best new business concepts from various industries.


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