Press releases

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).  
15 November 2016 UNWTO awards Geoffrey Wall the Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge in Tourism
The UNWTO Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge recognizes the remarkable work of Professor Geoffrey Wall on several issues, but particularly on tourism and climate change. The Prize will be bestowed on Professor Wall during the UNWTO Awards Ceremony to be held on 18 January 2017 in Madrid on the occasion of FITUR, the International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid, Spain.
14 November 2016 Religious tourism, a catalyst for cultural understanding
Under the title ‘Religious Heritage and Tourism,’ Utrech in the Netherlands hosted a 2-day UNWTO Conference on 5-7 October to underline the potential of this segment to promote the growth of the sector while fostering cultural understanding. The Conference was held in cooperation with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, the Museum Catharijneconvent, the Centre for Religious Art and Culture (Flanders) and the Dutch Future for Religious Heritage Program Future for Religious Heritage. 
14 November 2016 African Tourism Ministers adopt African Charter on Sustainable and Responsible Tourism
African Ministers of Tourism and heads of delegation along with UNWTO officials assembled in Marrakech in the framework of the 22nd Session of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP22) to adopt the first African Charter on Sustainable and Responsible Tourism and sign the Declaration on ‘Tourism and Climate Issues in Africa’. Both documents pave the way for the implementation of sustainability and responsibility principles in the tourism sector in Africa. The meeting was held in Marrakech on 10 November 2016.