UNWTO News 81

Release Date: 
12 Dec 18

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) concluded its 109th Executive Council session in Manama, Bahrain, with Members showing appreciation both for progress made under the 2018 institutional priorities and for the Organization’s financial stability and restructuring process. Tomorrow UNWTO will also introduce a forum named ‘Tourism Tech Adventure: Big Data Solutions’, bringing together the ‘ecosystems’ of tourism innovation and raising the sector’s role in the digital agenda.

The UNWTO/WTM Ministers’ Summit was well received by participants from government and the private sector for its more dynamic new format leading to more concrete takeaways around this year’s theme: Investment in Tourism Technology.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s International Seminar on Harnessing Cultural Tourism through Innovation and Technology and 40th Affiliate Members Plenary Session concluded with a renewed call for community participation in development of cultural tourism using cutting-edge technologies.

The 26th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government concluded with a high-level political declaration on sustainable development in which tourism plays a key supporting role. The commitment which includes the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), marks the first time the tourism sector has been featured in a top-level multilateral cooperation agenda.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has partnered with one of its newest Affiliate Members, real-world games developer Niantic, to enhance global tourism through the use of mobile augmented reality game experiences.

UNWTO Academy carried out an education course in the city of Zacatecas, Mexico, which focused on knowledge sharing, concepts and tools for development. The course, entitled “Tourism and the Digital Transformation: Impacts on the development of the tourism model” emphasised technical concepts for governance and aimed to bring high level officials of the Americas together to develop efficiency in destination management.

Several papers, discussions, group work and practical activities were shared and developed during the course. As part of the practical activities, the participants visited several destinations in the State of Zacatecas. They observed various tourist sites, met with local agents and engaged with community members whom are responsible for undertaking the expansion of the tourism area.

The course was attended by officials from Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador and was led by experts from UNWTO and Spain.

The ETC/UNWTO publication on The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Outbound Travel Market with Special Focus on Europe as a Tourism Destination provides a thorough analysis on the current and potential performance of the GCC outbound travel market, comprising six countries. The report also provides in-depth insight into the three main markets, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, through interviews with the consumer and travel trade. The report concludes with specific recommendations on how to position and market the destination Europe to GCC Tourists.

UNWTO partnered with the State Secretary for Tourism of the Republic of Argentina and IE Business School’s Exponential Learning (ieXL) to present the UNWTO Data Challenge 2018. This challenge aimed to improve skill acquisition for professionals in the tourism sector in Latin America (LATAM) by having applicants analyze public data sets to advance training and employability.

Each applicant’s work was judged on four factors: the operability of their conclusions, the real impact on the tourism sector, the quality of methodology and the details of the results. The winner presented their findings at the UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventures Buenos Aires on 12 December, 2018 and was granted a prestigious scholarship to attend the IE Data Science Boot camp at ieXL in Madrid in March, 2019.