UNWTO News 61

Release Date: 
05 Apr 17

The President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities and Chairperson of the Board of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage, Shaika Mai Bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, has been appointed as Special Ambassador of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.

Morocco has become the latest country to join UNWTO as partner of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017. The commitment was delivered at the Moroccan Day of Sustainable and Responsible Tourism held on 20 March in Rabat. 

The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Taleb Rifai, applauded Japan’s commitment to tourism development as one of the significant pillars of the socio-economic agenda during a recent official visit to Japan. Meeting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mr Rifai welcomed Japan’s Action Program for Tourism focused on infrastructure development, visa facilitation and technology.  

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are expected to welcome 195 million international tourists by 2030. Between 25 million and 50 million new jobs will be required in the region over the next decade. Over 20 Ministers and industry leaders will gather at the Ministerial Forum to discuss how tourism can play a role in the future of the MENA region. 

The 32nd meeting of the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection focused on the role of governments in advancing the fight against the exploitation of children in tourism (9 March 2017).

A ST-EP project in Ghana was successfully completed in mid-December 2016. The project is part of the ST-EP project portfolio implemented through the generous support from the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and the ST-EP Foundation.

Activities focused on improving visitor facilities and services in the Nzulezu stilt village. The project built toilets stalls for use by visitors and locals alike, and implemented a training programme on cultural dance performances for youth of the village. The village walkway and performance stage was also upgraded and litter bins were installed in the village to discourage waste disposal into the water. Awareness-raising activities on sanitation and waste management were carried out, and other income generating opportunities identified with the community, such as the sales of handicrafts and the traditional meals by women’s group. In addition, the project mounted bill boards at two major road junctions en-route to Nzulezu.

The Practical Guidelines for Integrated Quality Management in Tourism Destinations offer a comprehensive and pragmatic approach to the improvement of quality of tourism destinations. The handbook is a perfect tool for tourism managers, planners, academics, professionals, entrepreneurs and decision-makers. It clarifies tourism concepts developing basic tools for improving quality at tourism destinations.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is currently developing the UNWTO/EU Western Silk Road Tourism Development Initiative, an innovative tourism project aimed at revitalizing the Silk Road heritage located within the European region. As part of this joint project, the 1st International Western Silk Road Workshop will be taking place in Alexandroupoli, Greece on 26-27 April 2017. Jointly organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Ministry of Tourism of Greece and the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace of Greece, the workshop will bring together a wide array of tourism stakeholders aimed at achieving following key results: to diversify the tourism offer of European countries by assessing new tourism products, itineraries and routes with a Silk Road imprint, and to create new development and business opportunities by bringing together stakeholders from different sectors and countries.