UNWTO News 70

Release Date: 
21 Dec 17

Participants from around the world joined the Official Closing ceremony of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 at the Palace of Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. The event reviewed the year´s main achievements and discussed the roadmap for advancing the contribution of tourism towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Kasane, capital of Chobe District in Botswana, hosted tourism stakeholders to exchange experiences and knowledge of innovative approaches to enhance tourism and conservation planning, financing and marketing. Under the theme “Empowering Tourism Destinations’ Sustainability through Innovation”, the 10YFP STP International Symposium and Annual Conference also discussed the role of the tourism sector in fighting climate change.

UNWTO convened observatories from around the world to discuss advances in effectively monitoring sustainability in tourism at destination level. The 2017 Global International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) Meeting was held on the 13th and 14th of December at UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid.

Destinations around the world welcomed 1.1 billion international tourists between January and October 2017, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. This represents a 7% increase on the same period of last year, or 70 million more international arrivals. Strong demand for international tourism across world regions reflects the global economic upswing.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) of the European Commission gathered national tourism policy makers and statisticians in Brussels to advance in the implementation of the measurement of the economic impact through Tourism Satellite Accounts.

In a ground-breaking project the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Andorra based UNWTO.Themis Foundation and the University of Valencia, Spain have created a cross border training course for representatives of twelve of the 33 Member States in the UNWTO Silk Road Programme. Set up in 2010, the Programme aims to join countries of the ancient Silk Road together to increase cross border tourism and foster cooperation and ease of travel across countries stretching from Mongolia, China and Japan in the east to Greece, Italy and Spain in the west.

Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals – Journey to 2030 aims to build knowledge, empower and inspire tourism stakeholders to take necessary action to accelerate the shift towards a more sustainable tourism sector by aligning policies, business operations and investments with the SDGs. The publication highlights the links between tourism and the SDGs and provides recommendations on how to steer the road towards 2030. It is based on an analysis of 64 countries’ Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) on the SDGs – submitted to the United Nations Highlevel Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2016 and 2017 –, eight Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) country roadmaps and corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of 60 global tourism companies. The present Highlights summarize the main findings of the report.

The UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in tourism are the flagship awards for the global tourism sector. Since 2003, they highlight the work of organizations and individuals around the world that have positively impacted and inspired the tourism sector through innovation and knowledge.

To date, UNWTO has acknowledged and awarded the contribution of distinguished scholars, inspiring leaders, as well as more than sixty initiatives from the public and private sector as well as NGOs. Their achievements have served as an inspiration for competitive and sustainable tourism development at a local, national, regional and international level.

The contributions of the awardees are in line with the policies and priorities of UNWTO, including the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The 14th Edition of the UNWTO Awards will take place next January in the framework of the Spanish Tourism Fair, FITUR.