UNWTO News 56

Release Date: 
25 Oct 16

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt are organizing the 5th Global Summit on City Tourism: “Cities: Local Culture for Global Travellers” on 1-2 November 2016 in Luxor. During the summit, UNWTO will launch the Mayors for Tourism Initiative.

In the context of FITUR 2017, the 8th Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa will be held with a new format designed to promote participation in discussions that produce ideas on how to increase the potential of African tourism at the regional and global levels. It features two round tables on the themes “Technology and the design of new tourism products” and “Skills development, youth and woman employment in tourism”.

The 38th Plenary Session of the UNWTO Affiliate Members took place in Yerevan, Armenia between 1 and 4 October. The meeting discussed the latest tourism trends, public-private collaboration and promoting good practices in the sector. The event was held in parallel with the 43rd UNWTO Affiliate Members Board meeting, which adopted the Affiliate Members 2017 Action Plan.

International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 4% between January and June 2016 compared to the same period last year. Destinations worldwide received 561 million international tourists (overnight visitors), 21 million more than in 2015, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

About 500 delegates from 60 countries have convened in Bangkok, Thailand, to take part in the Official Celebrations of the World Tourism Day this year dedicated to the theme ‘Tourism for all: Promoting Universal Accessibility.’ Policy frameworks, capacity building, business strategies and awareness raising have been some of the areas tackled during the week of events that commenced on the 26th September with a ‘Tourism and the Media’ Session.

UNWTO has launched a project in north-eastern Cambodia for the promotion of environmental conservation and community-based ecotourism (CBET) initiatives. The project is being implemented in collaboration with local environmental NGO Mlup Baitong, and with the contribution of the EuropaMundo Foundation. The project aims to build the capacities of local authorities and community members, particularly women, to enable them to manage community-based ecotourism self-sufficiently and sustainably.

Activities during the first few months included community mobilization and capacity-building for local tourism authorities and tourism service providers. In each of the selected CBET sites (Preah Rumkel and Borey Osvay), inception meetings were conducted to inform the community about the project objectives and activities and ensure its full participation and ownership. A total of 88 people participated in these meetings, of whom 53 were female.

The “UNWTO/GTERC Asia Tourism Trends 2016 Edition”, the third annual report in the series, highlights the rapidly growing tourism sector of Asia and the Pacific. The sector reflects the socio-economic standing of a region whose GDP has been growing much faster than the world’s average. This has led to the emergence of a robust middle class who possess more disposable income to spend on travel. Allied to the ICT revolution, new groups of travellers have emerged, the “consumer class” and the technology-savvy “millennials”, with their own characteristics that form the essence of the second chapter of this study. Tourism in Asia and the Pacific calls for reciprocal investment in infrastructure and human capital development to sustain the growth that is elaborated in the third section. The final chapter gives a summary of the annual agenda of activities of the Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific.

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The United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (A/RES/70/193).

This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change.

Join us in celebrating 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development!

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