International Transport Forum - 2014 annual summit Transport for a Changing World | 21-23 may 2014 - Leipsig, Germany | France presidency

2015 Summit: Transport, Trade and Tourism

27-29 May 2015, Leipzig, Germany

Transport, Trade and Tourism

Trade and tourism are important engines of economic growth. International trade represents 50.6%
of global GDP and is expected to increase 350% by 2050 (in t/km). Tourism accounts for 21% of global export
services. International tourist arrivals reached 1.1 billion in 2013 (1995: 0.5 bn); it will be 1.8 billion in 2030.
Both trade and tourism depend on effective transport systems. Yet transport faces huge challenges as a
provider of human mobility and facilitator of goods exchange. The rise of Asia and Africa will drive demand for
freight transport. Trade patterns will shift, creating uncertainty for supply chains. Growing numbers of tourists
will put pressure on international and domestic transport networks around the world, highlighting the need
for more sustainable and accessible services and infrastructure. How transport should respond and meet these
challenges will be at the centre of debate at the International Transport Forum’s 2015 Summit.


Respond to new trade flows

Trade flows are growing, but also shifting. A third of trade
will occur among non-OECD countries by 2050 (2010: 15%).
Of the world’s 10 largest container ports, nine are now in Asia
Pacific – Shanghai handles more containers than Europe’s
three biggest ports put together. Road freight will boost its
share of international freight tonnage by 40% by 2050.
These trends will require strategic investment - in carrier and
port capacity, in complementary hinterland infrastructure
and in multi-modal connections. Governments will also have
to consider the impact of current restrictions on transport
services operating across borders.

Related Summit sessions:


    Prepare for shocks to supply chains

    70% of the world’s natural disasters occur in Asia, where 50%
    of global trade in GDP terms now takes place. The 2011 tsunami
    in Japan had an economic cost of USD 210 billion and the
    2011 Christchurch earthquake wiped 20% off New Zealand’s
    GDP. Extreme weather events – heavy rainfall, heatwaves,
    droughts – are expected to become more frequent and severe.
    The SARS virus caused losses of USD 50 billion and a true
    global pandemic – think Ebola – could shrink global GDP by
    5%, according to the World Bank. New strategies are needed
    to manage such risks and respond to disruptions, and it will
    be crucial to determine the appropriate roles of government,
    business and international bodies.

    Related Summit sessions:


    Balance tourism with sustainability

    Three billion citizens are expected to join the middle-income
    bracket in emerging economies by 2030, with most of
    this occuring in Asia. Higher incomes will add 43 million
    international arrivals per year. Tourism will grow twice as fast
    in emerging economies, overtaking the developed world before
    2020. Air travel has been growing at a faster pace than other
    modes and over half of all international travellers now arrive at
    their destination by air. Tourism can create wealth and boost
    regional development. Cheaper, more direct, more attractive
    transport options help to achieve this. But this will need to
    be balanced with expectations to reduce the environmental
    impact, particularly on emissions from air travel.

    Related Summit sessions:


    Cater for tourists' transport needs

    Transport is a key determinant of the tourist experience
    and shapes views of the attractiveness of a destination.
    Most tourists still face barriers in transport: language
    difficulties, lack of familiarity with local operating and tariff
    systems, signage, customs procedures, and geography.
    Changing demographics present opportunities and challenges.
    Tourists hail from a growing number of backgrounds.
    The share of “third agers” will rise. Already, 30% of the world’s
    population faces some form of reduced mobility at a given
    time. Improvements in accessibility, efficiency and multi-modal
    connectivity are needed. Smart use of technology can help
    shape demand, manage the complexity of travel and enhance
    the user experience.

    Related Summit sessions:


    The Event

    The Annual Summit of the International Transport Forum is the unique platform for a global conversation on strategies for transport in the 21st century. Since 2008, the Annual Summit has developed into the leading global get-together of the key players in transport and transport-related sectors, providing a unique platform for high-level exchange on strategic policy issues.

    The theme of the 2015 Summit is Transport, Trade and Tourism. It will take place in Leipzig, Germany from 27-29 May 2015, under the Presidency of New Zealand.

    The Participants

    More than 1 000 participants from around 80 countries, among them:

    • Ministers and political decision-makers from the ITF’s 54 member countries and many invited countries;
    • CEOs and business leaders;
    • Heads and senior representatives of international organisations;
    • Heads of global, regional and national business associations; and
    • Leading researchers and academics.

    The Programme

    The Annual Summit offers a rich programme over three days. With up to four parallel sessions at any one time, the programme includes policy discussions with Ministers in different formats, keynote addresses, networking opportunities, demonstrations, technical tours and an exhibition. A number of key industry organisations will host Summit side events. Evening receptions, a Gala Dinner, and cultural tours complement the Summit programme.

    Why attend?

    • Hear ministers and leading industry participants engage in focused debates to explore the trends that will shape transport in the future.
    • Find out how decision-makers are planning for the new era of mobility.
    • Identify trends that will drive future breakthroughs in transport.
    • Explore ways of overcoming barriers between systems, networks, modes and regions.
    • Network with top players, understand their views, influence decision-making.

    How to get involved?

    The Summit is an invitation-only event. To request an invitation for this exclusive event, please contact
    Registration will open in early 2015.

    External organisations are able to be involved in the Summit programme through hosting side events and other types of events on topics complementary to the Summit theme.

    The Summit provides an ideal opportunity for organisations and companies to raise their profile and showcase products and projects to a high-level global audience as a Summit sponsor or exhibitor.

    Download the Opportunities at the Summit brochure (pdf)

    Key contacts

    Programme and Speakers: 



    ITF Awards: 
    (Applications for 2015 are now closed)

    Side Events: 
    (Applications for 2015 are now closed)

    Media Events: