UNWTO News 58

Release Date: 
21 Dec 16

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. 

During a recent visit to Brussels, Belgium, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Taleb Rifai, has discussed how to reinforce the collaboration of the Organization with the European Union (EU).

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Travel Commission (ETC) have co-organized a working session with European countries to discuss crisis communications in tourism. The event was held at UNWTO headquarters in Madrid.

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.

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).

UNWTO provides technical assistance in the form of short-term missions and long-term development projects. Missions focus essentially on needs assessment, training, policy advice and guidance. Some of these missions may also result in the formulation of full-scale projects. The long-term projects tend to have a larger scope and can be implemented both at national and at local/regional level. The projects cover a wide variety of interventions, ranging from carrying capacity studies at specific tourism sites, to regional and national level tourism master planning; from capacity building of both government and private sector staff on topics such as marketing, statistics and customer care to establishing public-private sector partnerships; from developing tourism as a means of creating sustainable livelihoods at community level in least developed countries to establishing frameworks for long-term sustainable development of the sector.

In 2016, the UNWTO Technical Cooperation and Services implemented 14 missions and 37 projects, benefitting a total of 37 countries. All missions and projects could be successfully implemented, thanks to a very active and constructive collaboration with the National Tourism Administrations and other stakeholders in the recipient countries as well as our supporting partners.

The UNWTO Affiliate Members Global Report, Volume fourteen on The transformative power of tourism: a paradigm shift towards a more responsible traveller is a joint publication with Affiliate Member, Institute of Tourism, Zagreb, Croatia. The notion of transformative tourism refers to socially and environmentally conscientious tourists, who employ tourism as a transformative medium to re-invent themselves and promote sustainable practices that have a positive impact on local communities. The aim of this report is to illustrate with real-life initiatives that best reflect the great potential of transformative tourism in contributing to tourism development.

Fill out the form and share your event, publication or initiative to celebrate the International Year 2017. Your initiative will appear on the Celebrations Map and Calendar, as well as in the Report of the International Year to the United Nations General Assembly. This is a year for you to share your experiences, your ideas, your contribution to building a more sustainable tourism sector.

Event Form

Share your Solution by filling out the form below and sharing your initiative or innovation – whether it is a solution to create more decent jobs, a solution to protect biodiversity, a solution to empower communities, or for any other aspect of sustainable tourism.

Share your solution form

Share your story and join us on this journey, live each story with each storyteller and let all of us be reminded of the opportunities tourism brings to change lives and communities.

Share your story form

Share your knowledge: research, publications or articles related to sustainable tourism for development and its five pillars.

Share your Knowledge form