Press releases

9 December 2016 UNWTO express its heartfelt condolences over the loss of the Pakistan International Airlines flight in North Islamabad
UNWTO is deeply saddened by the news of the crash of the Pakistan International Airlines in the Northern part of the country . On behalf of the international tourism community, UNWTO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims as well as to the Pakistan people."It was with deep sorrow that we learned about this tragic accident; UNWTO and the tourism community  express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims at this difficult moment", said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
9 December 2016 UNWTO highlights the relevance of sports events in branding Africa
With occasion of the 12th edition of the African Women Cup of Nations 2016 (November 19- December 3), the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Taleb Rifai, has paid an official visit to Cameroon. Participating in the ‘Women, Sports and Tourism; Women Sports events and the promotion of African destinations’, UNWTO Secretary-General underlined the opportunities that women sports-related events bring to the tourism sector in the Africa and beyond.
9 December 2016 The University of South Florida’s Patel College of Global Sustainability – the newest member of the UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO)
The Blue Community Observatory hosted by  the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGs) of the University of South Florida, USA, has become the latest member of the UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories. This Observatory monitors the impact of tourism in parts of the Pinella and Manatee Counties, two popular tourist destinations  in Florida. 
5 December 2016 International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 garners support from the sector
Only few weeks ahead of the official launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, set to take place on the 18 of January 2017 in Madrid, Spain, representatives from various tourism industries and beyond have joined UNWTO to support the celebrations of this important event. 
5 December 2016 UNWTO underlines the potential of tourism to preserve biodiversity - COP-13
With the objective of advancing the contribution of the tourism sector to biodiversity preservation the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) participated in the UN Biodiversity Conference COP13, in Cancun, Mexico (2-17 December). The Conferences is focused on mainstreaming biodiversity across relevant sectors, especially agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism.
30 November 2016 UNWTO announces the finalists of the UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism
UNWTO has announced the finalists of the 13th edition of the UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism. The 12 finalists were selected among 139 applicants from 55 countries. The winners will be announced on 18 January 2017 at the UNWTO Awards Ceremony, organized for the fourth consecutive year in collaboration with Madrid International Tourism Fair (FITUR / IFEMA).
28 November 2016 WTTC and UNWTO urge UK government to lift air ban to Sharm el Sheikh
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) call on the UK government to lift the current ban on UK-based airlines flying to Sharm el Sheikh. 
23 November 2016 UNWTO congress to discuss the links between cultural heritage and creative tourism
The World Tourism Organization and the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria will jointly host the International Congress on World Civilizations and Creative Tourism on 29 November - 1 December 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Congress will discuss how creative tourism can play a significant role in safeguarding and promoting tangible and intangible heritage as well as in generating socio-economic benefits.
21 November 2016 Ilunion Hotels receives UNWTO Ethics Award
The World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE) has awarded Ilunion Hotels with the UNWTO Ethics Award. The Award distinguishes Ilunion Hotels for its work in the area of accessible tourism for all and its contribution to change attitudes, break down social barriers and make the accommodation industry more inclusive.
17 November 2016 UNWTO supports Sudan´s Tourism Development
UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, has expressed the commitment of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to support Sudan’s tourism development during his recent official visit to Sudan. The visit coincided with a three-day regional executive training on crisis communication in tourism organized by UNWTO and the UNWTO.Themis Foundation (Khartoum, Sudan, 15-17 November, 2016).