Lessons from Vegas: Ted Turner wants world peace

When the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) announced that media mogul Ted Turner was going to attend this year’s summit in Las Vegas, many became curious. Rightfully so, as Mr. Turner doesn’t really have an immediate travel and tourism connection like most speakers and presenters do, which is all the more reason why people paid particular attention to what he had to say.

On the day before the summit, it was revealed that WTTC chairman Geoffrey Kent was going to be conducting an interview with Mr. Turner. What ensued during the 30-minute chat between the two ended up becoming an impromptu lecture on Ted Turner’s life lessons through his many endeavors.

The revealing interview, as short as it was, ultimately humanizes Ted Turner in the eyes of the attendees of WTTC’s 2011 Global Travel & Tourism Summit. Mr. Kent was able to steer the conversation to offer an insight to a man that has achieved so much in his lifetime. Turner, who gamely took on the interviewer’s questions, provided attendees a much-needed comic relief to the otherwise gloomy tone of summit, which took on the day’s most pressing travel and tourism issues including the recent earthquake in Japan.

During the interview, Mr. Kent was keen on getting as much knowledge from Turner as possible and in doing so covered so many aspects within the allotted timeframe that those who were witness to the conversation could all agree on one thing: Turner’s wisdom, shared through humor, for the most part, was a wonderful happenstance.

Based on the interview, it is quite a challenge to describe Mr. Turner. Perhaps Mr. Kent put it best when he referred to Turner as a philanthropist, a world-champion sailor, a successful entrepreneur, and a vocal environmentalist. However, to pigeonhole Mr. Turner based on Mr. Kent’s description would be a great dishonor to the man who shared so much about his life, including some very personal information such as his physical challenges and his father’s death, during that short interview. “He has done so much that it would take many of us 10 lives to accomplish one of the things he has done,” Kent said.

Turner is a multi-faceted man and is certainly one to admire for his candor and wit. To arrive at this conclusion, one needed to be present at the summit. Luckily, eTN has recorded some parts of the interview, so that those who could not make it to this year’s summit can get a sense of what had transpired on that memorable day of May 19, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada’s Aria Casino and Hotel.

Please note that the audio was originally not intended to be used as a material for publication, hence the low quality. But, there is really no better way to share lessons offered by Ted Turner than through the below audio presentation.