Leaders Summit Europe
September 6, 2022
Venue: Radisson Collection Hotel, Grand Place Brussels



Tourism is a major economic activity in the European Union with wide-ranging impact on economic growth, employment, and social development. It can be a powerful tool in fighting economic decline and unemployment. Nevertheless, the tourism sector faces a series of challenges. EU has worked hard to address these with strong policies and actions. Despite all the challenges, the outlook for 2021 and 2022 is for considerable recovery across Europe. This is good news for the rest of the world and, for developing countries with most tourism potential and demand, as chances are EU may become the poster child for the pent-up demand for travel and tourism reboot.

The aforementioned, and upcoming Hybrid Summit, at the iconic capital of Europe, Brussels, is an opportunity to rethink, reimagine ‘meaningful’ tourism of tomorrow. This needs to be built on certain verticals, powered by digitization, and sustainable investments into human capital and infrastructure. The event participation will include other past present heads of states, various ministerial level attendance and the wider Travel and Tourism industry stakeholders, corporations, and leaders.

2022 Agenda


 Message From General Secretary – Taleb Rifai.

The need for a paradigm shift in global tourism existed long before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The very success of international tourism, with five times the number of trips in 2019 compared to the year 1980, often made a mockery of the idea of hospitality and ran in many places a juggernaut over local nature, local culture, authenticity, diversity and serendipity, negatively impacting satisfaction levels of all stakeholders involved. Gigantic cruise ships, all-inclusive resorts, overcrowded beaches and disneyfied tourist cities are all examples of forms of tourism organisation which in effect prevents meaningful guest-host encounters and do not help to fight seasonality and its consequences of low yield, low wages and seasonal employment in many European destinations.

By 2019, overtourism, ecological degradation and increasing protests of host communities already signalled the need to change the structure of global tourism. The pandemic has increased the perception of the importance of travel and tourism for the global economy and provided a chance to pause and rethink the future of tourism.

The Leaders Summit Brussels is the right place at the right time to review what has been done already and even more importantly what still needs to be done to move forward to a more meaningful and sustainable tourism in Europe and around the world, to balance the interests of hosts, guests, employees and owners of service provider companies in hospitality and tourism and not least the environment.

The dialogue between political and industry leaders from European and global countries, organisations and companies will help to find new ways to use the tools of digitalization, training, and empowerment and of political support and guidance to not only find a way out of the crisis, but to move forward to a new, better ‘normal’.

Conference Co-Chairs

Ismail Ertug, Member of the European Parliament
Ismail Ertug, MEP and vice-president of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, was born in Amberg, Germany, in 1975. After his studies, he held various positions at the German Central Health Insurance Fund.
He was elected to the European Parliament in 2009, 2014 and 2019. Since then, he has been a member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN).
During his second term, he was the coordinator of the S&D Group in the TRAN committee and a member of the Delegation for relations with Southeast Asian countries and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as well as the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. Since 2019, Mr Ertug has been vice-chair of the S&D Group. In addition, he remains a full member of the TRAN committee and is a substitute for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. He is also a member of the Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula (DARP).
Mr Ertug always stands up for the rights of rail passengers, aiming to simplify cross-border travel and to regulate guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network.
José Ramón Bauzà, Member of the European Parliament
José Ramón Bauzá Díaz is a Spanish politician and the president of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands from 2011 to 2015. Born to a Majorcan father and a mother native to Madrid, he is licensed as a pharmacist by the Complutense University of Madrid. He owns his own pharmacy in his hometown of Marratxí.


Time 6 September 2022
10:00 – 10:15 OPENING REMARKS
10.15 – 10.25 SPEECH: Tourism What is Next?

10.25 – 10.40

by European Commissioner for Mobility Adina Valean

10:40 – 11:10

Mobility Challenges and New Trends

11:10 – 11:40

by Federico J. González, CEO Radisson Hotel Group

11:40 – 12:00

New Investment Models For Travel and Tourism
12:00 – 13:00 NETWORKING LUNCH
by Dimitris Papadimoulis, Vice President of European Parliament

13:15 – 13:30


Gloria Guevara, Chief advisor Saudi Ministry of Tourism on 2030 Saudi Strategy and Sustainability

13:30 – 14:00 SESSION 3
A Sustainable Future for Travel and Tourism

14:00 – 14:30

Digitalization and Blockchain in Travel

14:30 – 15:00


15:00 – 15:30


15:30 – 16:10

Destination 2030: Smart Tourism and Resilience

16:10 – 16:30

Women Leadership in Tourism

16:30 – 17:00

Keeping the Promise : Design, Delivery and Operation of New Destinations

17:00 – 17:10



Confirmed speakers by 09.08.2022

H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker

Group CEO of Qatar Airways and Chairman of Qatar Tourism

Federico J. González

CEO of Radisson Hotel Group

Taleb Rifai

Secretary General of WTFI & Former Secretary General  of UWTO

Caroline Leboucher

Director General / CEO of Atout France

Ismail Ertug

Member of European Parliament

José Ramón Bauzà

Member of European Parliament

Henrik Hololei

Director-General of the European Commission’s department for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE)

Bulut Bağcı

President of WTFI

Claudia Tapardel

Former MEP, Chief Communication officer of Ariva

Marian Muro

CEO of Barcelona Tourism

Sorcha Hellyer

Master of Ceremony, BBC Global News Rep. Founder and MP of Image Diplomacy

Yulia Stark

President of, European Women’s Association (EWA)

Eduardo Santander

Executive Director European Travel Commission

Sandiaga Uno

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia

Dimitrios Papadimoulis

Vice-President of the European Parliament

Adina-Ioana Vălean

European Commissioner for Transport

Hugues Mbadinga Madiya

Minister of Investment Promotion of Gabon

Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar

Member of the European Parliament

Neslihan Gundes

Director of Partnerships and Board Affairs of WTFI

Peter Gerber

CEO of Brussels Airlines

Bernold Schroeder

Group CEO of Kempinski

József János Váradi

CEO of Wizz Air

Gloria Guevara

Chief Special Advisor to Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia

Maribel Rodriguez

President of Women Leading Tourism

Willie Walsh

Director General of International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Patrick Bontinck


Marie-Caroline Laurent

Director General Europe of CLIA

Eric Dresin

Secretary General of ECTAA – The European Travel Agents’ and tour Operators’ Associations

Prof. Ian Ritchie

CBE RA RIBA Director Ritchie*Studio, London

Cristina Núñez

Managing Director of NECSTouR

Josianne Cutajar

Member of European Parliament

Emmanuel Mounier

SG of EU Travel Tech


Supporting Media