Press Release

24 Sep 2013

Travel & Tourism drives peace in the war against terrorism

Tuesday 24th September, Nairobi

David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), will call for confidence in Kenya to be maintained despite the recent terrorist attacks in a speech in Nairobi later today, Tuesday.

Scowsill will say: “Travel & Tourism brings people together; it allows us to build relationships, to understand other cultures and as such is a vehicle of diplomacy and trade. Travel & Tourism drives peace and understanding in the war against terror.”

Addressing the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Nairobi, Scowsill will call for solidarity with the citizens of Kenya, as the country comes to terms with the terrorist attack.

Scowsill’s message is that Travel & Tourism is resilient: “Over the past two decades we have faced challenges in the shape of terrorism, economic crises, natural and man-made disasters. On each occasion Travel & Tourism has returned to growth with remarkable speed.”

Terrorist attacks are tragically a fact of life that the industry has learned to live with over the years. Coupled with natural disasters like the Icelandic ash cloud, there are constant challenges for government and private sector leaders. After the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, within a year domestic, outbound and international tourism was back to pre-disaster levels.

“While other industries can take time to recover from such shocks, Travel & Tourism can be up and running within days or even hours after a terrorist incident. It is crucial in these situations that a country remains open to tourism. The message has to be clear – tourists are welcome and safe in the destination, and they will have the wonderful experience that they are seeking.” Scowsill continued.

From Left Cabinet Secretary Tourism Phyllis Kandie, David Scowsill, WCCT and Marriot's Middle East & Africa Managing Director, Alex Kyriakidis

From Left David Scowsill, Cabinet secretary Phyllis Kandie and Alex Kyriakidis

Phyllis Kandie, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry Of East African Affairs, Commerce And Tourism during a WTTC Press Conference


About WTTC:
The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism. It promotes sustainable growth for the industry, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. In 2012 Travel & Tourism accounted for 260 million jobs globally. At US$6.6 trillion (9.3% of GDP) the sector is a key driver for investment and economic growth. For more than 20 years, the World Travel & Tourism Council has been the voice of this industry globally. Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world’s leading, private sector Travel & Tourism businesses. These Members bring specialist knowledge to guide government policy and decision-making, raising awareness of the importance of the industry as an economic generator of prosperity.
For further information, please contact:
Toby Nicol
Communications Director
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7481 6484

The Value of Tourism to Kenya
According to WTTC, Travel & Tourism is one of Kenya’s largest industries, responsible for 12.5% of GDP, KES 450 bn, and 11% of total employment, ~ 600,000 jobs.

About AHIF
AHIF, taking place in Nairobi 23-25 September 2013, is the premier hotel investment conference in Africa, attracting many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers.  The conference is also receiving support from the Kenyan government by way of sponsorship from the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation (KTDC) and the presence of the tourism minister Hon. Phyllis Kandie MP.

The speaker line up features government ministers from four countries and dozens of CEOs and board-level executives from the most important companies building and running hotels across the continent, including:
• Phyllis Kandie, Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Kenya
• Carvalho Muária, Minister of Tourism, Mozambique
• Dr Maria Mutagamba, Minister of Tourism, Uganda
• Jean Max Rakotomamonjy, Ministre du Tourisme Madagascar
• Simon Vincent, President EMEA, Hilton Worldwide
• Alex Kyriakidis, President & Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, Inc.
• Hervé Louis, Chief Finance Officer, ACCOR
• Ulrich T. Eckhardt, President India, Middle East & Africa, Kempinski Hotels
• Jean-Gabriel Pérès, President & CEO, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
• Ewan Cameron, Chief Executive Officer,  Lonrho Hotels
• David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council
• Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President Development - Europe & Africa, Hilton Worldwide
• Samer Abu Ayash, Senior Vice President - Head of Design, Construction & Real Estate, Kingdom Hotel Investments
• Rui Barros, Senior Vice President & Managing Director EMEA, Wyndham Hotel Group
• Neil George, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development Middle East & Africa, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
• Peter Norman, Senior Vice President Acquisitions & Development, Hyatt International (Europe Africa Middle East) LLC
• Taras Ettl, Vice President Development - Middle East & Africa, InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG)
• Bani Haddad, Regional Vice President - Middle East and Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group
• Marianne Ndegwa, Jordan, Managing Director, Kenya Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC)
• Rohan Patel, Director, Sankara Hotel Group Kenya Ltd
• Olaf Schmidt, Global Sector Head - Hotel, Retail & Real Estate Investments, IFC (International Finance Corporation - World Bank Group)

Confirmed sponsors are as follows: 2013 Host Partner: (KTDC) Kenya Tourist Development Corporation. Platinum Sponsors: ACCOR, Mangalis Management Group and Marriott International, Inc.  Gold Sponsors: AECOM Design + Planning, Africa Export Import Bank, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Colliers International, G1 Architecture, Golden Tulip, Grant Thornton, Hilton Worldwide, Horwath HTL, Hotel Partners Africa, Hyatt International LLC, HVS, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), Kempinski Hotels, Lonrho Hotels, Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts, Ole-Sereni, Shapooji Pallonji International, Starwood Hotels and Restorts International, STR Global and Wyndham Hotel Group.

About Bench Events
In addition to the next Africa Hotel Investment Forum, Bench Events is one of the organisers and founders, alongside Questex Travel + Hospitality and MEED Events, of several well-known conferences for the hotel investment industry including Berlin (IHIF), Dubai (AHIC), Istanbul (CATHIC) and Moscow (RHIC).

Further Questions
For further information and high resolution images, please contact: David Tarsh, +44 (0) 20 7602 5262, +44 (0) 7770 816 070, Susan Gikera,, O: +254 020 425 000, M: +254 724 651 791 or Joanne Howell,, +44 (0) 7813 164 649.