UNWTO News 79

Release Date: 
05 Oct 18

World Tourism Day 2018 was observed in Budapest, Hungary (27 September 2018) with the official celebration focusing on the digital transformation in tourism, a World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) priority. The event examined how investment in new technology provides the sector with opportunities for innovation.

The first edition of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in partnership with Globalia, the leading tourism group in Spain and Latin America, is a pioneering initiative that has identified emerging companies at the forefront of the transformation of the tourism sector and the promotion of innovation ecosystems through tourism. The 20 semi-finalists, from 12 countries, pitched their projects in the framework of the recent official celebration of World Tourism Day in the presence of public and private sector leaders of the global tourism sector, as well as investors. The finalist projects will be presented at the next edition of the International Tourism Fair of Madrid (Fitur), in January 2019.

At the 7th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism in Seoul, Republic of Korea (16-19 September), the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, laid out a vision looking to 2030 for urban tourism that contributes to sustainable and inclusive cities.

The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvil, visited East Asia last month to enhance political recognition of tourism as a leading contributor to innovation, employment and sustainable development, and deepen ties from investment and education to culture and peace-building. The official visit took place in China, Republic of Korea and Japan (11-23 September).

Investment in innovation and smart management for tourism will form the major theme of the Ministerial Summit of this year’s World Travel Market, to be held in London, UK (6 November 2018). The 2018 Summit, a joint initiative of World Travel Market and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), will debut a revamped format.

As part of the technical assistance that the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is offering to its Member States, particularly to develop efficient statistical systems, the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria hosted the second workshop of the Programme for Strengthening capacity for tourism statistics (27-29 September 2018) on the occasion of World Tourism Day.

The purpose of the programme is to facilitate the development of tourism statistics in accordance with United Nations standards and to progressively implement the Tourism Satellite Account Project. Spread over three years, from 2017 to 2019, this program consists of several workshops for officials from national tourism administrations, national statistical offices, central banks and immigration offices.

This second workshop focused on the development of the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), a tool for measuring and monitoring the economic impact of tourism in the economy. It is an accounting framework that measures the contribution of tourism to job creation, economic growth and wealth creation and provides an international comparison of these data.

The workshop organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts of Algeria and UNWTO brought together fourteen (14) African countries and more than forty participants to share their experiences and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to improve their statistics.

Participants recognized the need to create a tourism satellite account as a tool for monitoring the economic dimension of sustainability as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The management of tourism flows in cities to the benefit of visitors and residents alike is a fundamental issue for the tourism sector. It is critical to understand residents’ attitude towards tourism to ensure the development of successful sustainable tourism strategies.

This report analyzes the perception of residents towards tourism in eight European cities – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Munich, Salzburg and Tallinn – and proposes 11 strategies and 68 measures to help understand and manage visitor’s growth in urban destinations.

The implementation of the policy recommendations proposed in this report can advance inclusive and sustainable urban tourism that can contribute to the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Smart destinations aim for inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability through technological innovation. By establishing technology-based data tools, the tourism sector can better anticipate specific demands, such as accessibility, mobility and more. Furthermore, it benefits the management and analysis of sustainable tourism, which is key among the objectives of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The above mentioned strategy is part of a broader approach, which considers technological innovations as stepping stones towards sustainability in the tourism sector. In this context, this year’s World Tourism Day (celebrated 27 September in Budapest, Hungary), focussed on tourism in the digital era, with several panel discussions addressing the digitalization of the tourism sector and how these innovations can contribute to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, namely the transformation of tourism, the 20 semi-finalists of the first UNWTO tourism start-up competition presented their projects to industry leaders, investors and public tourism delegates form 50 countries, offering concrete examples on how to translate this approach into reality.

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