Welcome messages


Isabel Hill, Chair of the OECD Tourism Committee

Welcome, and thank you for participating in the first High Level Meeting of the OECD on Tourism.  

The OECD is uniquely positioned to address issues of competitiveness in travel and tourism for developed economies in a global context. The High Level Meeting will strive to clarify perspectives on issues of common concern and to establish a stronger dialogue with the private sector and selected non-member economies. The results of this meeting will inform the role and priorities of the OECD Tourism Committee moving forward. 

We hope that you will help create a spirited dialogue on trends, challenges and related policies that will shape tourism in the years to come.


Michela Vittoria Brambilla Secretary of State in charge of Tourism, Italy

Tourism represents, and has historically represented, an important part of the economic, social and cultural development of Italy. Nowadays we face a new challenge, even in this sector: a risk and an opportunity in the processes of globalisation.

It is for this reason that the Italian government has decided to host the High Level Meeting of the OECD Tourism Committee, which offers a special opportunity to discuss and analyse the strategic decisions which have to be taken by the tourism sector.


I think that the contribution of colleagues who represent OECD countries, together with the contribution of the private sector, could offer some valuable indications for future work with a wider focus on international co-operation, in a sector which by its own nature, crosses national boundaries.


Lorenzo Dellai, President of the Autonomous Province of Trento

Tourism is a bridge linking different peoples and cultures, enhancing dialogue and exchange, making borders “softer” and minds more receptive.

This is particularly evident in the present day, where  countries are increasingly opening up to tourism, and allowing more and more people to enjoy “active idleness” - the effects of which on the global economy are well-known.

I am very pleased, therefore, on behalf of Trentino, to offer a warm welcome to all the participants of the first OECD Tourism High Level Committee Meeting. 

There are two reasons why I am glad this event is being held in Trentino. Firstly, this region has hosted the OECD LEED Centre for Local Development for five years now, and I would like to highlight how the beneficial relationship between the Centre and the local community is deepening every day.

Secondly, this land – thanks to great natural attractions such as Lake Garda and the Dolomites - has a very long tradition of tourism. The origins of this date back to the era of the Grand Tour, and even today it still attracts many tourists from all over the world. We are therefore looking forward to following the Committee, with participants from around fifty countries and its work, and look forward to gaining useful insights for our future.


Sergio Arzeni, Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development

I am very pleased, as Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development, to organise with the Italian authorities, this High Level meeting of the Tourism Committee on 9-10 October 2008.

This event will be a unique occasion for OECD and non-OECD countries to discuss how globalisation is changing the tourism economy and how it affects linkages between different policy areas.

Globalisation raises permanent challenges to countries in their efforts to support the development of a competitive, attractive and sustainable tourism sector. In this context, uncompetitive tourism organisations, models and products may have detrimental effects on travel and tourism. The Riva del Garda meeting will review some of the good policy practices that encourage domestic and international tourism trade, suppress obstacles to tourism development, improve knowledge management, attract and keep talents and support the access of enterprises in the global market.

The OECD is inviting national and local policy-decision-makers, entrepreneurs and business leaders to join forces to identify and engage in policy reforms that encourage a long term sustainable and competitive tourism growth.
Many countries are already engaged in policy and governance reforms reflecting global and local trends and structural changes in the tourism industry.

We hope that the OECD High Level Meeting will act as a catalyst for further action and international co-operation in addressing economic and labour tourism issues, tourism policy performance and evaluation, policies harmonisation and convergence in tourism, for example for sustainable development.


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