UNWTO News 54

Release Date: 
31 Aug 16

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration, is organizing the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in the Kakheti wine region of Georgia on 7-9 September 2016.

UNWTO has expressed its full support to the decision of the Government of Indonesia to grant free visa to citizens from 169 countries. The measure looks for attracting international tourism to the country by simplifying travel procedures and follows research by UNWTO and WTTC that shows that visa facilitation in the ASEAN economies could create between 333,000 to 654,000 new jobs in a period of three years. 

Following a request from the Government, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), organized a workshop on Tourism Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) in Skopje, from 20 to 24 June 2016.  Aimed at the key institutions involved in compiling and analyzing tourism statistics, more than thirty participants attended from the Ministry of Economy, the State Statistical Office, the National Bank, the Tourism Regional Centers and the Chambers of Tourism.

The objective of the training workshop was to present UNWTO’s recommended methodological framework for the development and implementation of a national system of tourism statistics with the ultimate objective of preparing a TSA in the country. Training would be provided on key concepts and definitions, and recommendations on how to improve data collection methods, their analysis and compilation in understanding the state of tourism data and statistics in the country.  

To mark the celebration of the World Tourism Day 2016 under the theme "Tourism for All - promoting universal accessibility" UNWTO, the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) and the Spanish ONCE Foundation for the Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities have produced a compilation of Good Practices in the Accessible Tourism Supply Chain.

While these examples provide a small sample of possible solutions regarding accessibility, they will hopefully inspire others to take steps towards broadening the availability of accessible offers in tourism destinations round the world.

UNWTO has initiated the development of an international legal framework to protect tourists and ensure confidence in the tourism sector. The tourism sector has gained increased economic and social importance in recent years.  Nevertheless, the exponential growth of the sector has come with renewed responsibilities and challenges, such as security threats, new businesses models or need to increase the confidence among tourists in tourism service providers. For that reason, UNWTO has created a working group composed of representatives of its Member States, International Organizations and the private sector to advance the creation of an International Convention on the ‘Protection of Tourists and the rights and obligations of Tourism Service Providers’.

Currently, UNWTO has opened a public consultation period among all its Member States the draft Convention. The main objectives of the present convention are:

  • To protect tourists as consumers, particularly in emergency situations by giving them primary and basic assistance and enhancing cooperation between States and clarification of the information to be provided in these circumstances.
  • To ensure a fair balance between the responsibility of the States, private sector and tourists.
  • To improve tourist confidence in tourism service providers and in the tourism sector as a whole.

“For this purpose, we would like to give the opportunity to all potential parties of the instrument to share with us their considered and detailed views on all issues that are being discussed under this convention.”