UN tourism head highlights 'power' of meetings industry

Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), spoke of a 'powerful' but under-promoted meetings industry at Imex 2014 today (20 May).

Taleb Rifai, secretary general of UNWTO
Taleb Rifai, secretary general of UNWTO

Rifai urged event planners to better promote themselves through data while speaking during the opening reception at Imex 2014 in Frankfurt. 

He also highlighted sustainability, visas and access to travel as key challenges affecting the meetings industry. 

Rifai told meetings professionals: "You must better promote the true value of the meetings and travel industry and produce data to promote our assumptions about the sector.

"The meetings industry is young in comparison to other sectors such as finance. It is also a complex one, as it is not easy for people to understand the magnitude of the sector.

"The progress of meetings contributes a large percentage to the tourism sector and the tourism sector contributes to the greater economic and social development of the world. Knowledge is spread through your industry. The sector is one of the most resilient and powerful industries in the world."

More from IMEX 2014:

Imex opens 'biggest show ever'

Michelle Mone opens IMEX corporate day

In Pictures: Site Nite at Imex 2014

Half of planners reduced their incentive programmes in 2013

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Businesses routinely miss out on sales leads at trade events, research reveals

Businesses routinely miss out on sales leads at trade events, research reveals

Generic sales pitches, misspelt names and 'hard-sell' techniques are leading to lost revenue and business opportunities.

Most popular European cities for MICE bookings revealed

Most popular European cities for MICE bookings revealed

Tech company Aventri ranks cities' popularity for meetings and events based on bookings made through its venue sourcing platform.

'My MD gives me additional roles to help me learn, and experiences to develop my skills'

'My MD gives me additional roles to help me learn, and experiences to develop my skills'

A-List 2019: Anna Clarke is senior account executive at Ex Events.

Reinventing networking with 'brain dates' for attendees

Reinventing networking with 'brain dates' for attendees

Fundamental changes are needed to reorganise events around face-to-face connections rather than content, says agency director.

Live Union welcomes three new faces

Live Union welcomes three new faces

Marketing director, business development director and production manager all join the London-based team

No one should be expected to work for free and the same goes for speakers

No one should be expected to work for free and the same goes for speakers

It's unethical to expect speaking gigs to be unpaid, says Nick Gold, MD of Speakers Corner.

'I don't think I would have had the same opportunity and support in a bigger company'

'I don't think I would have had the same opportunity and support in a bigger company'

A-List 2019: Olivia Chilton, senior account executive at Clear Partners.

In pictures: Meet Dublin in London cruise

In pictures: Meet Dublin in London cruise

The Dublin Convention Bureau hosted its 10th anniversary 'Meet Dublin in London' on the Thames.

Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel opens in Glasgow

Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel opens in Glasgow

Luxury hotel has 113 rooms, a Bo & Birdy restaurant and bar and private roof garden with views of the city.

'I'm fortunate to work on events that you sometimes have to pinch yourself at'

'I'm fortunate to work on events that you sometimes have to pinch yourself at'

A-List 2019: Michael Charles, creative director, Julia Charles Event Management.

LATEST JOBS