Eye on Travel

Radio Guest List–World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Seville, Spain–April 20, 2019

Photo Credit: Nina Dietzel

This week’s broadcast of Eye on Travel comes from the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Seville, Spain.  First up, an update on recent airline failures and your real rights as a consumer. Then, a conversation with Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on his upcoming PBS special with Peter, Poland: The Royal Tour — which begins airing on public television April 22nd (check your listings). Then, Roger Dow, Chairman of the U.S. Travel Association, discusses one of the biggest challenges of the travel industry — a labor force not being large enough to keep up with its growth. And Arnie Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of Travel Weekly, on Brexit, what the common sentiment on the topic is and how it’s affecting travel to and from Britain — and the U.S. There’s all this and more as Eye on Travel broadcasts from the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Seville, Spain.

Click here to listen to the show streaming live from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 20, 2019.

Have a travel question? Then ask Peter. E-mail him at peter@petergreenberg.com, or tweet your questions to @petersgreenberg (include #AskPeter).


Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland, joins Peter to talk about their upcoming PBS special, Poland: The Royal Tour– airing this April 22nd. The Prime Minister talks about the extensive history of Poland that has shaped the country into what it is today. He also shares his own personal history and how he’s creating a better and stronger Poland. He discusses some misconceptions that people have about World War II and opens up about his time spent in the United States.

Roger Dow, Chairman of the U.S. Travel Association, tells us his biggest takeaway from the summit is that travel is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. One of the biggest challenges the industry may soon face is having a large enough labor force for the industry’s growth. It’s partially the industry’s overall job to remind people you can build a lucrative career in this sector. Currently, one out of every five jobs is in travel and tourism, and it’s a prime mover of the U.S. economy, and the government needs to understand this.

Elena Kountoura, Greece’s Minister of Tourism, describes Greece’s tourism growth — which rose to more than 32 million tourists last year. That tourism resulted in 18 billion euros and makes up 20% of the country’s GDP. With more growth in this travel sector, the more it spills out into other industries and pushes the entire economy and creates jobs. In 2014, there was 24% unemployment, but it dropped to 18% by 2018. And tourism was 70% to thank for this. One of the biggest reasons for this growth is Greece opening itself up to new markets, such as China and India.

Matthew Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso, talks about the nature of today’s travels and how people still want to go and see something new and cross a place off their lists, but people are also re-exploring locations now more than ever before. People also don’t just want to be entertained by a place, they want to be educated and learn new things. He’s also seeing more travelers wanting accommodations to not be an escape but to be portals into communities.

Chandran Nair, Founder & CEO of the Global Institute for Tomorrow, speaks about the advances in technology and what he found is the biggest issue in communities that people are lacking. He also dives into the livelihoods of people, our population’s necessities in India and China and why businesses have no real incentive to help people. Chandran then explains why Europe is getting weaker while China is getting stronger and how China is doing it.

Dan Kammen, Professor of Energy in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley and a former Science Envoy for the State Department, discusses the topic of sustainable travel, preserving beaches and communities, and seeing the world but leaving it better than you found it. He talks about the damage that plastic is doing to animals and the environment, educating people about the human footprint we are leaving and the biggest reason for why the consumer culture and sustainability need to come together as one.  

Arnie Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of Travel Weekly, begins by speaking about the world of uncertainty that we are living in and the impact of travel. Arnie also discusses Brexit, what the common sentiment on the topic is and how it’s affecting travel to and from Britain. Arnie argues that the longer this drags on, the worse the situation will be. He then brings up Airbnb’s continued expansion and why it’s worrying hotels and tour operators in cities all over the world.

Ken Dychtwald, Founder and CEO of Age Wave, expands on how although millennials are seen as today and tomorrow’s markets, we are in the midst of a longevity revolution. As we live longer, boomers have more discretionary time and income. Ken also talks about industry buzzwords, the evolution of spas, amazing experiences in the U.S., and the off-the-beaten-path experiences that travelers crave now more than ever.