Grand Velas Riviera Maya Hosts World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Americas Summit, May 16-18, 2012
Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico (May 29, 2012)
For the first time in Mexico travel and tourism leaders from across the hemisphere united May 16-18th at the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya for the World Travel & Tourism Council's Americas Summit. The first of a series of WTTC ‘Regional Summits,' the Summit explored common challenges and identified opportunities for growth and learning from around the world.
"We are especially proud and honored to have been the first resort in Mexico to host the prestigious World Travel & Tourism Council's Americas Summit, especially coming on the heels of our having recently hosted the World Economic Forum on Latin America," said Juan Vela, Vice President of Operations of Velas Resorts.
The Summit began with a welcome cocktail and dinner along the resort's pristine beach, where Michael Frenzel, Chairman, WTTC, and Chairman of the Executive Board, TUI AG; Juan Vela, Vice President of Velas Resorts; Gloria Guevara Manzo, Secretary of Tourism for Mexico; and Mexican President, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, all welcomed attendees. The following day, renowned travel journalist Peter Greenberg conducted a 35 minute panel discussion with President Calderón on the Macro global environment, forthcoming G20 meeting, importance of travel and tourism, and upcoming strategy for Mexico.
In addition to The Presidential Perspective, several meetings were held throughout the Summit, including sessions on the role of governments in driving jobs and economic growth, the promotion of connectivity within the region, infrastructure development through strategic planning and targeted investment, freedom to travel to and within the Americas, sustainability, digital technology, and more. Attendees included ZHU Shanzhong, Vice Chairman of CNTA; Thomas Nides, US Deputy Secretary of State; Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism, South Africa; Stéphanie Balmir Villedrouin, Minister of Tourism, Haiti; Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Tourism, Indonesia; Eduardo Vela, President, Velas Resorts; Alexander Radkov, Head, Federal Agency for Tourism, Russia; Tom Klein, President, Sabre Holdings; Jim Compton, Executive VP and Chief Revenue Officer, United Airlines, Manuel López Aguilar, General Director, Iberia; Wykeham McNeill, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Jamaica; David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC; celebrity actor and filmmaker Robert Redford; Chris Rodrigues, Chairman, VisitBritain; Gastão Vieira, Minister of Tourism, Brazil; Roger Dow, President & CEO, US Travel Association; Hugh Riley, Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism Organization; Rupert T Griffith, Minister of Tourism, Trinidad and Tobago; Fernando Garcia Rossette, Managing Director for the Grand Velas Resorts in Riviera Maya and Rivera Nayarit; Matthew Upchurch, CEO, Virtuoso Ltd; and, Pedro Pablo Duchez Meyer, Minister of Tourism, Guatemala; among others.
About Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Recently featured in Forbes' roundup of the 10 Coolest All-Inclusive Resorts, the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya, an all-suites and spa resort located five minutes from Playa del Carmen, is the latest and most sophisticated iteration of the ultra-luxury, all-inclusive resort experience. each more than 1,000 square-feet, in three separate ambiances-- premium ocean-front Grand Class Suites with terrace plunge pools for families with children 12 and up, family-friendly ocean-view Ambassador Suites and Zen Grand Suites embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula's jungle. The resort presents a gastronomic tour of the Yucatan, Europe and Asia offering seven restaurants with world-class chefs from France, Spain and Mexico; dedicated butler service for each guest, and the region's largest spa sanctuary at over 89,000 square-feet specializing in signature treatments inspired by ancient cultures from around the world. The spa was named "Best Spa" in the world by Virtuoso and also earned a SpaFinder Readers' Choice Award. The resort was designed by lauded Mexican architecture firm Elias and Elias and features the sleek and modish interiors that fuse the serenity of the Caribbean with the vibrancy of Yucatan cultures.