After two inspiring Online Meetups featuring speakers from the tourism industry, one thing is clear: tourism is on the cusp of a promising future. Leading personalities from the tourism industry and politics, as well as investors and start-ups will meet in Andermatt in November to promote and exchange new ideas. The Innovation Festival will hone in on topics introduced at the Online Meetups and examine possible solutions to rebuild and advance tourism.

The disruptive forces of the current crisis are leaving their mark on the tourism industry. Buoyed by innovation and enterprise, the industry is taking this opportunity to jettison mediocre solutions and instead develop new ideas that will endure even after the storm has passed, says futurist Matthias Horx. Marcus Bernhardt, CEO of Deutsche Hospitality, agrees: “You can sense that the pace of innovation is accelerating in the tourism industry, that even well-established companies are quickly adapting to the new needs of guests.”

It was important, according to Nadia Fettah Alaoui, Tourism Minister of Morocco, that governments supported the tourism industry during a difficult phase. However, now it is time for the industry to push on with the transformation process that was triggered by the crisis. Philipp Depiereux, CEO of etventure, is convinced: agility and adaptability are more important than adhering rigidly to a previously defined strategy. For this to succeed, guests have to be made the focus, because tourism is all about social interactions and personal exchanges with them.

There’s a need for action with regard to diversity and inclusion too. The figures in a study by the World Tourism Forum and Aptamind are clear: when it comes to diversity and inclusion, there’s still plenty of room for improvement in the tourism industry. Firms must level the playing field and «walk the talk» when it comes to involving employees in proceedings.

Johannes Reck, CEO of GetYourGuide, believes, “that young businesses in particular can change the world for the better, as long as you give them the opportunity to develop their ideas and put the pedal to the metal.” And that is exactly what WTFL is doing with its unique platform for exchange and its global network.

“To move forward with positivity, you need new perspectives and a clear objective”, says Raphael Krucker, CEO of Andermatt Swiss Alps, “and this objective, whether it’s in the field of sustainability or diversity and inclusion, can only be achieved in collaboration with others.”

With this awareness and the insights from the Online Meetups, World Tourism Forum Lucerne looks eagerly to the future. The conference of the hybrid Innovation Festival, whose theme is “Moving Forward” takes place from 15th and 16th November in Andermatt, Switzerland. Simultaneously, the guest destination Morocco will host a satellite event to be broadcast live. Participation is possible in person or remotely from anywhere in the world.

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