UNWTO and PATA Partner to Advance Tourism for Economic Growth and Development in Asia

UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, and PATA CEO, Martin Craigs on the occasion of the PATA Annual Summit (April 26) in Bangkok, Thailand

Advancing economic diversification, cultural and environmental preservation through tourism are the key objectives of a new Strategic Partnership signed between UNWTO and the Pacific Asia Travel Association at the PATA Annual Summit (25-28 April, Bangkok, Thailand)

The lasting support to the development objectives and the positioning of tourism as a central contributor to economic growth and sustainability in Asia are at the center of the Strategic Partnership signed by UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, and PATA CEO, Martin Craigs.


UNWTO and Italy Advance Accessibility in Tourism

Ensuring that tourism facilities and sites meet the needs of persons with disabilities, both as a key means of promoting tourism for all and as an engine for market growth, were the main focus of the International Conference on "Accessibility in tourism: an ethical value, a business opportunity" (14 February 2013, BIT Milan, Italy).

The event, organized by the Permanent Secretariat of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics hosted by the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers at the Office for Tourism Policies of the Department of Regional Affairs, Tourism and Sport in Rome, was held with the support of UNWTO and constitutes another significant step in the Organization's endeavours in the area of accessibility. Participants included representatives from hotels, tourism companies, disabled persons organizations and students from three higher tourism education centres in Italy.


UNWTO Tourism Forum Promotes Business Between Africa and Spain


The fourth edition of the Investment and Tourism Business Forum (INVESTOUR) addressed cooperation and business opportunities between Spain and Africa. Celebrated on the occasion of the Madrid International Tourism Fair (FITUR), INVESTOUR 2013 brought together representatives from 33 African countries and over 50 Spanish entrepreneurs.


"Bringing together the public and private sectors with potential international partners, represents a unique opportunity to reinforce business relations between Spain and Africa and advance sustainable development in the continent", said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, opening INVESTOUR. Against the backdrop of international tourist arrivals growing by 6% in the region in 2012, the event took place "in a moment in which Africa continues to strive in the tourism map", he added.


ESTC13: Leading International Industry Conference to Focus on Tourism's Role in Sustainable Community Development

Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC), Nairobi, Kenya, Sept 24-27, Explores How Tourism Can Help Alleviate Poverty and Achieve Sustainable Development.


January 22, 2013, WASHINGTON, DC – The seventh annual Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC), organized by The International Ecotourism Society, co-hosted by Kenya Tourist Board and Ecotourism Kenya and in cooperation with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from September 24th-27th, 2013. A leading platform for industry stakeholders engaged in ecotourism and sustainable tourism, the ESTC aims to strengthen commitment to the recent UN resolution, "Promotion of ecotourism for poverty eradication and environment protection", which recognizes tourism's role in sustainable community development efforts.


UNWTO and China Strengthen Cooperation

The Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), Mr. Shao Qiwei, and UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, have agreed to strengthen cooperation between both organizations as a key step towards advancing China's tourism development objectives.


(Source: UNWTO Press Release)


Madrid, Spain, 21 January 2013 - On the occasion of his visit to Spain to receive the UNWTO Award for Lifetime Achievement, Mr. Shao also met with the Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism of Spain, Mr. José Manuel Soria (Madrid, Spain, 15 January 2013).


UN Resolution Recognizes Ecotourism as Key to Sustainable Development

A landmark resolution recognizing ecotourism as key in the fight against poverty, the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development has been adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (21 December 2012).

Source: UNWTO Press Release


In a significant acknowledgment of tourism as a tool for promoting sustainable development, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution stressing ecotourism’s role in the fight against poverty and the protection of the environment.


The resolution, entitled, "Promotion of ecotourism for poverty eradication and environment protection", calls on UN Member States to adopt policies that promote ecotourism highlighting its "positive impact on income generation, job creation and education, and thus on the fight against poverty and hunger".

UNWTO: Sustainable Tourism Central to the Future of Africa's Parks

"Tourism is one of the most effective ways to preserve Africa's national parks and protected areas while creating jobs and income for local communities."

This was one of the main conclusions of the First Pan-African Conference on Sustainable Tourism in African National Parks, organized by UNWTO and the Government of Tanzania (Arusha, Tanzania, 15-18 October 2012).


"Nature is one of Africa's greatest assets," said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, opening the Conference. "Many of the 50 million international tourists visiting Africa each year are driven by the continent's unparalleled wildlife and natural scenery. These tourists spend in the local economy, sustain jobs and provide an incentive for conservation, making tourism a powerful engine for sustainable development."


UNWTO Forums and Sustainability Discussions at FITUR 2012

Signalling the beginning of the international tourism calendar for 2012, UNWTO will hold a number of activities at the International Tourism Trade Fair, FITUR, addressing key issues facing the sector in times of uncertainty (Madrid, Spain, 18-22 January, 2012).

Tourism Leadership Forum

17 January, 09.15 – 18.30 (Rooms N104-N105) - Organized by Exceltur and UNWTO on the eve of FITUR, the Forum "Tourism Driving Growth and Employment: Policies to Stimulate Competitiveness" will bring together leading tourism experts to debate policies adopted by countries in which tourism has been identified as a priority to drive growth and create employment; consider new public/private partnership models in tourism; as well as outline the tourism trends expected for 2012 and the impact of the current economic situation on tourism demand. Register at http://6foro.exceltur.org/ing/?zona=2

UN Forum: Tourism's Potential to Support the Millennium Development Goals

Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro (Source: UN News Center)

UN tourism forum opens with call to capitalize on potential of industry

Calling on governments, donors and international financial institutions to "unlock the potential of tourism," Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro hailed the industry's ability to create jobs, stimulate economies and overcome poverty. In an address to the 19th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), taking place in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea, Ms. Migiro said tourism has become one of the world's most important economic sectors. In one third of developing countries, tourism is the principal export sector, and the industry has remained resilient in the face of the global economic crisis, she noted.

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