UNWTO News 65

Release Date: 
27 Jul 17

International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 6% in January-April of 2017 compared to the same period last year, with business confidence reaching its highest levels in a decade. Sustained growth in most major destinations and a steady rebound in others drove results. Prospects for May-August 2017 remain high.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria hosted the 2nd International UNWTO Western Silk Road Workshop in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 27-28 June 2017. The workshop was attended by 22 countries and consolidated the results of the first workshop held in Greece in April 2017. 

Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, President of the Republic of Malta, has been nominated as Special Ambassador of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The appointment took place at a ceremony held at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Headquarters in Madrid. 

Nearly 1.000 experts from over 80 countries convened for three days (21-23 June) in Manila, The Philippines at the 6th International Conference on Tourism Statistics to lay the groundwork for an expanded statistical framework to measure sustainable tourism in its economic, social and environmental dimensions. The outcome ‘Call for Action on Measuring Sustainable Tourism’ represents a global commitment to sustainable tourism and the need to measure it through a consistent statistical approach recognizing that effective sustainable tourism policies require an integrated, coherent and robust information base.

Under the title ‘Tourism and Future Energy: Unlocking low-carbon growth opportunities’, industry leaders and policy makers have convened in the Kazakh capital city of Astana to discuss the contribution of the tourism sector to reducing carbon emissions. The Conference is a joint initiative of Astana EXPO 2017 and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan. 

UNWTO has completed a ST-EP project on community-based ecotourism in Preah Rumkel and Borey Osvay, two villages in northern Cambodia along the Mekong River. The project was launched in May 2016 with the support of the Spanish foundation Europamundo and was implemented by the Cambodian NGO Mlup Baitong.

The project aims to empower community members and improve their living standard through community-based ecotourism and environmental conservation. To achieve these, five outcomes were established:

  • Improving management systems for community-based ecotourism (CBET) in Preah Rumkel and Borey
  • Improving the capacities of the Community-based Ecotourism Management Committee and tourism service providers of both sites
  • Improving the mechanisms for the protection of natural resources, especially the forest and the river dolphin
  • Advertisement/marketing mechanisms
  • Tourism facilities at both CBET sites are renovated

This publication released on the occasion of the International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, focuses on community empowerment and poverty alleviation through rural tourism development. The report shines a light on rural tourism development in the Asia Pacific region with fourteen specific case studies that show how communities have adapted a sustainable approach to rural tourism that stimulates economic growth, creates employment and improves the livelihood of communities.

The UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) is a network of tourism observatories monitoring the economic, environmental and social impact of tourism at the destination level. The initiative is based on UNWTO’s long-standing commitment to the sustainable and resilient growth of the sector through measurement and monitoring, supporting the evidence-based management of tourism. Through the systematic application of monitoring, evaluation and information management techniques, the initiative provides policy makers, planners, tourism managers and other relevant stakeholders with key tools to strengthen institutional capacities to support the formulation and implementation of sustainable tourism policies, strategies, plans and management processes. The vision of INSTO is to foster a dynamic network of partners that strives towards creating healthy places for both visitors and the host communities while leaving resilient destinations to future generations.

You can read more about INSTO on their recently launched new platform.