- The First International Congress of National Tourism Bodies, meeting in London, decides to create a new international non-governmental organization to replace the International Union of Official Tourist Propaganda Organizations (IUOTPO), established in 1934.
- The First Constitutive Assembly of the International Union of Official Travel Organisations (IUOTO) is held in The Hague. The temporary IUOTO headquarters are established in London.
- Creation of the European Travel Commission (ETC), the first Regional Commission within IUOTO. It is followed by those for Africa (1949), Middle East (1951), Central Asia (1956) and the Americas (1957).
- IUOTO is granted United Nations consultative status.
- IUOTO transfers its headquarters to Geneva, Switzerland, where it remains until 1975.
- IUOTO takes part in the United Nations Conference on Customs Formalities for the Temporary Importation of Private Road Motor Vehicles and for Tourism held in New York, which adopts two key multilateral instruments to facilitate travel and tourism promotion activities.
- Robert Lonati (France) becomes the first IUOTO Secretary-General; his mandate will be extended until 1974.
- Following an IUOTO initiative, the United Nations Conference on Tourism and International Travel meets in Rome. This conference adopts a series of recommendations on the definition of the terms ‘visitor’ and ‘tourist’ regarding international statistics; the simplification of international travel formalities, and a general resolution on tourism development, including technical co-operation, freedom of movement and absence of discrimination.
- IUOTO takes an active part in the work of the International Conference on Facilitation of Travel and Maritime Traffic, organized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London. The Conference adopts the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic.
- The 79th meeting of the Executive Council of IUOTO in Madrid, approves a proposition to modify the legal statutes of the Union and creates a working group to study the effects and consequences of this change.
- The United Nations, following an IUOTO initiative, declares 1967 International Tourism Year (ITY), with the slogan Tourism, Passport to Peace.
- The Intergovernmental Conference in Sofia (Bulgaria) and the United Nations General Assembly press for the creation of an intergovernmental organization on independent tourism.
- On 27 September, the IUOTO Special General Assembly meeting in Mexico City adopts the Statutes of the World Tourism Organization (WTO). From 1980 onwards, this day will be celebrated as “World Tourism Day”.
- First WTO General Assembly meets in May in Madrid at the invitation of the Spanish Government. Robert Lonati is voted in as the first WTO Secretary-General and the Assembly decides to establish its headquarters in Madrid.
- The WTO General Secretariat is set up in Madrid on 1 January.
- The agreement is signed for WTO to become an executing agency of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), carrying out technical co-operation with Governments.
- The World Tourism Conference held in Manila (Philippines) adopts the Manila Declaration on World Tourism.
- The World Tourism Conference in Acapulco (Mexico) adopts the Acapulco Document.
- The VI WTO General Assembly, held in Sofia (Bulgaria), adopts the Tourism Bill of Rights and Tourist Code.
- Willibald Pahr (Austria) is voted new WTO Secretary-General.
- Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Tourism, jointly organized with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, adopts The Hague Declaration on Tourism.
- VIII WTO General Assembly, Paris (France).
- Antonio Enríquez Savignac (Mexico) is voted new WTO Secreteary-General.
- The International Conference on Travel and Tourism Statistics in Ottawa (Canada) adopts a resolution defining the statistical needs of the tourism industry.
- IX WTO General Assembly in Buenos Aires (Argentina) approves the recommendations of the Ottawa Conference and adopts “Recommended Measures for Security in Tourism” and “Creating Tourism Opportunities for Handicapped People in the Nineties”.
- WTO participates in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), where "Agenda 21" is created.
- X WTO General Assembly held in Bali (Indonesia), Antonio Enríquez Savignac (Mexico) is re-elected as Secretary-General. The United Nations Statistics Commission approves the Ottawa recommendations and adopts the Standard International Classification of Tourism Activities (SICTA).
- Joint WTO and UNESCO meeting on the Silk Road, held in Samarkand (Uzbekistan), adopts the Samarkand Declaration on Silk Road Tourism.
- Accra Declaration on the WTO-UNESCO cultural programme “The Slave Route” in Accra (Ghana).
- I WTO Forum on Parliaments and Local Authorities: Tourism Policy-Makers, held in Cadiz (Spain), which underscores the importance of co-operation between local, regional and national authorities.
- WTO, WTCC and the Earth Council produce Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry, as a follow-up to the Rio Conference.
- XI WTO General Assembly in Cairo (Egypt) adopts the WTO Declaration on the Prevention of Organized Sex Tourism.
- II WTO Forum on Parliaments and Local Authorities: Tourism Policy-Makers, held in Bali (Indonesia), adopts the Bali Declaration on Tourism,
- XII WTO General Assembly in Istanbul (Turkey) approves a White Paper to define WTO strategy in confronting the challenges of the 21st century. Francesco Frangialli (France) is voted new WTO Secretary-General.
- The WTO.THEMIS Foundation is created in Andorra, to promote quality and efficiency in tourism education and training.
- The World Conference on the Measurement of the Economic Impact of Tourism, held in Nice (France), approves the Tourism Satellite Account.
- XIII WTO General Assembly in Santiago (Chile) adopts the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
- The United Nations Statistics Commission approves the international standards included in the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA).
- Third WTO Forum on Parliaments and Local Authorities: Tourism Policy-Makers, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
- First World Conference on Sport and Tourism, jointly organized by WTO and the International Olympic Committee, Barcelona (Spain).
- Conference on Tourism Satellite Accounts in Vancouver (Canada) aimed at promoting the use of Tourism Satellite Accounts.
- XIV WTO General Assembly held jointly in Seoul (Republic of Korea) and Osaka (Japan), adopts the Seoul Declaration on Peace and Tourism and the Osaka Declaration for the Millennium. Francesco Frangialli (France) is re-elected Secretary-General.
- The Assembly requests looking at the possibility of transforming WTO into a United Nations specialized agency.
- 2002 is declared International Year of Ecotourism.
- Quebec (Canada) holds the World Ecotourism Summit, which adopts the Quebec Declaration on Ecotourism.
- WTO takes part in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, South Africa), during which the programme “Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty” (ST-EP) is presented. The final declaration of the Summit includes a direct reference to sustainable development of tourism.
- IV WTO Forum on Parliaments and Local Authorities: Tourism Policy-Makers, held in Panama City.
- WTO Strategy for Crisis Management is adopted at ITB Berlin (Germany).
- First International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, Djerba (Tunisia).
- XV WTO General Assembly, Beijing (China), approves the composition of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics and unanimously supports the programme Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP).
- The Assembly approves the transformation of WTO into a United Nations specialized body by resolution 453(XV). The transformation is ratified at the United Nations General Assembly by resolution A/RES/58/232.
- First World Conference on Tourism Communications (TOURCOM), organized by WTO in Madrid, during FITUR.
- The World Committee on Tourism Ethics, the implementation body for the Global Code of Ethics (adopted in 1999), holds its first meeting in Rome (Italy).
- Following the Asian tsunami catastrophe in December 2004, UNWTO Secretary-General summoned an emergency meeting of the UNWTO Executive Council which adopts the Phuket Action Plan.
- UNWTO conference on the “Tourism Satellite Account (TSA): Understanding Tourism and Designing Strategies” in Iguazu, jointly organized with the governments of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
- Applying the agreement signed between UNWTO and the Government of Korea in 2004, the official head office of UNWTO’s ST-EP Foundation is opened in Seoul.
- XVI UNWTO General Assembly held in Dakar (Senegal), confirms the leading role UNWTO can play in eliminating poverty through sustainable tourism development. Francesco Frangialli (France) is re-elected for a third mandate as Secretary-General.
- The General Assembly also approves the adoption of the initials UNWTO in English and ЮНВТО in Russian.
- XXX anniversary of UNWTO in Madrid.
- Chaired by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the UN’s Chief Executives Board meets for the first time at UNWTO headquarters.
- First International Conference on Tourism and Handicrafts, Teheran (Islamic Republic of Iran).
- Fifth International Forum for Parliamentarians and Local Authorities, Hamamet (Tunisia.)
- Second International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, Davos (Switzerland), adopted the Davos Declaration, endorsed by the London Ministerial Summit on Tourism and Climate Change.
- First International Conference on Tourism, Religions and Dialogue of Cultures, Cordoba (Spain)
- The XVII Session of the UNWTO General Assembly held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, adopts the Davos Declaration and encourages UNWTO to engage itself in the response to one of the greatest challenges of our times
- UNWTO and other UN agencies present the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria at the World Conservation Congress, Barcelona (Spain)
- The 84th Session of the UNWTO Executive Council establishes the Tourism Resilience Committee (TRC) to respond to the economic downturn, Madrid (Spain)
- UNWTO launches the awareness campaign Protect Children from Exploitation in Travel and Tourism
- Permanent Secretariat of World Committee on Tourism Ethics inaugurated, Rome (Italy)
- In response to the global economic crisis, the UNWTO Roadmap for Recovery is developed, demonstrating how tourism can contribute to economic recovery and the long term transformation to the Green Economy
- XVIII Session of the UNWTO General Assembly, Astana (Kazakhstan), endorses the Roadmap for Recovery as a way to mainstream tourism into economic stimulus packages and appoints Taleb Rifai (Jordan) as UNWTO Secretary-General for the period 2010-2013
- UNWTO and the World Travel and Tourism Council host a side event at the COP-15 negotiations demonstrating the commitment of the tourism industry to the climate imperative, Copenhagen (Denmark)
- First T.20 Ministers’ Meeting underscores tourism’s contribution to global economic recovery and the long-term ‘green’ transformation