The World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual global summit is taking place this week in Sabre’s own backyard — Dallas, Texas. In advance of the event, Sabre CEO and Global Summit Executive Co-Chair Tom Klein stated that he is “Proud to bring the world’s travel and tourism leaders to our hometown.” The world’s third largest airport hub of international travel, a location closely impacted by the international border debate, and a rapidly expanding skyline of technology and culture make Dallas a prime backdrop for this year’s event. The agenda itself is intimately relevant to the location, chock full of important discussions around migration, international travel policy, traveler and cyber security, and cultural and city tourism.
Klein’s personal participation on the committee is also a reflection of a broader Sabre commitment: to support the policies and industry initiatives necessary to ensure that travelers the world over have the opportunity and visa facilitation processes needed to open the doors to international visitation. For the past five years, Sabre Airline Solutions has supported the theme of the 2016 summit, Travel Beyond Boundaries through the AS Freedom to Fly campaign, a way of conducting business built on the principles of choice in travel and the technology needed to support it.
This year’s agenda also puts a spotlight on the more personal elements of travel. Several panels address topics like the balancing of technology with the human face of travel and the link between tourism and peace. One session that has special meaning to Klein and the rest of the Sabre community is an on-stage interview by BBC anchor Nick Ross with Sabre employee Raisuddin Bhuiyan entitled “Beyond Hate.” Rais founded the NGO A World Beyond Hate after a near fatal shot to the face at a local gas station drastically changed the software engineer’s life. Rais rose above the hatred and resentment that could have consumed him. He forgave his attacker and used the assault to deliver a powerful message about forgiveness and the dangerous prejudices that stem from differences in culture and appearance. His story is a great example of how the industry can educate travelers and citizens alike about acceptance across borders.
The summit wraps up this afternoon with a vision for how the WTTC plans to take the topics, principles, and ideas discussed over the two-day event beyond Dallas. The future success of travel and tourism, both in the industry environment and the social environment, rests on a collective commitment to advancements in accountability, governance, and the business boundaries. Each are instrumental to achieve the new dynamic needed preserve the freedom to travel beyond boundaries.