World Tourism Federation (WTCF) Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2019 – Closing Speech

World Tourism Federation (WTCF) Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2019 – Closing Speech

Esteemed Vice Mayor of Beijing,

Dear Secretary-General of WTCF,

Excellencies, Colleagues,

Dear WTCF members,

Dear Friends,

I am tremendously proud of our accomplishments here in Helsinki for the past two days. I want to thank you all for active participation, lively interaction and sharing your best understanding of how we should develop this industry and what might be the greatest challenges we will face in the future.

I want to thank the WTCF leadership and secretariat for their thoughtfulness and attention to detail. Their professionalism has truly made this event a success.

I also want thank my city leader colleagues for making their way to Helsinki from all corners of the world to share their views and experiences on these important topics during our time together here at Finlandia Hall.

Finally, I want to congratulate the City of Beijing and Vice Mayor Wang Hong for once again accepting the responsibility of hosting this important gathering. We all look forward to our next Summit in Beijing!

As my final departing thought for you, my honorable guests, I want to reflect upon our mission for a better, more sustainable, smarter world that in the future allows many more people to experience the world on their own terms,  understand the way other people and cultures differ from their own, be amazed by the experiences offered by foreign places and return to home with a vast knowledge about the way our common world is taking shape.

The understanding we develop through travelling and experiencing allows us to grow more human, more understanding and – hopefully – more at peace with each other and ourselves. Travel allows us to develop business, create new networks, innovate and educate ourselves in a more profound way. Since the beginning of times travel has been an integral part of the human development and allowed us to go beyond our physical limitations in order to create a better world for the next generations.

All this can be true also in the future only if we are able to find smart and sustainable solutions that support travel without causing unnecessary harm to the globe. This challenge is one of the core questions of our generation – we are the first to truly grasp the magnitude of this question, and most likely the last who are able to create solutions that make a difference. Our time is now – let’s make is a success together.

Thank you.