UNWTO News 48

Release Date: 
Thursday, December 24, 2015


United Nations declares 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has approved the adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The resolution, adopted on 4 December, recognizes “the importance of international tourism, and particularly of the designation of an international year of sustainable tourism for development, in fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere, in leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world”. 

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Innovative projects from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe amongst the finalists of the 12th UNWTO Awards 

A total of 17 projects from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe have been selected, from a total of 109 candidacies, as finalists of the 12th UNWTO Awards on Excellence and Innovation in Tourism. The winners in the four categories - public policy and governance, research and technology, enterprises and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) - will be announced on 20 January 2016 at the UNWTO Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner in Madrid, Spain.

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UNWTO’s Ulysses Prize awarded to Doctor Richard Butler

The 12th UNWTO Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge in Tourism has been awarded to Dr Richard Butler, Emeritus Scholar of the Strathclyde Business School, in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The Prize recognizes the invaluable work of Dr Butler in areas of capacity building and sustainability in the tourism sector.

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UNWTO activities at FITUR to focus on innovation and sustainability

The opportunities that innovation opens up for tourism and the importance of promoting initiatives in the field of sustainability and ethics will constitute the focal topics of the activities to be organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) at FITUR, with the support of the Fair. FITUR, whose 36th edition will be held from 20 to 24 January in Madrid, constitutes a global meeting point for tourism professionals.

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UNWTO and Mountain Tourism Cluster to partner on addressing seasonality

UNWTO and the Mountain Tourism Cluster have signed an agreement to collaborate on issues of seasonality in mountain destinations (Madrid, Spain, 4 December, 2015).

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UNWTO Secretary-General addresses the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament

With the aim of enhancing the links between tourism, economic growth and inclusive development in Europe, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, addressed the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament (Brussels, Belgium, 3 December 2015).

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World Committee on Tourism Ethics discusses the impact of web reviews

The accuracy and reliability of online consumer reviews was the main focus of the 16th meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics. The Committee also discussed the issue of child protection in tourism and all inclusive holidays (Paris, France, 16-17 November 2015).

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ST-EP project in Lesotho delivers training for excursion providers, tour guides, home stay providers and crafters

UNWTO is collaborating with the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) to implement a ST-EP project on rural tourism in the Kome, Malimomg & Baroana areas to the East of the capital city Maseru. Training has been organized for excursion providers, tour guides, rural homestay providers, and crafters, and a tourist map was developed with hiking, biking, and pony trekking routes, linking the three project areas.

The initiative aims to support the participants to start or grow an excursion enterprise by building their capacity to develop excursions, get access to markets and make optimal use of the attractive natural and cultural heritage of the destination.

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UNWTO Events Fitur, (Madrid, Spain, 18-24 January, 2016)


Click here for the full programme of UNWTO events in Fitur 2016


Tourism Stories

The Tourism Stories remind us of the heartbeats behind the tourism statistics, the books capture voices of tourism from countries across the globe – the people who, each and every day, wake to work in the sector, playing their part, making their impact, and sharing their story. We invite you to join us on this journey and live each story with each storyteller, celebrated, one by one.

The two editions of the Tourism Stories book invite readers to look past the statistics of the tourism sector and to gain insight into how lives and communities have been shaped by tourism. They show us how an individual´s work has the ability to creatively unlock community value chains, proudly inspire the empowerment of women and revitalize history and traditions of the past to set the foundations for the future.

Meet the people and download your copy here.

COP21: UN Climate Change Conference Paris 2015

From 30 November to 11 December of this year, world leaders convened in Paris for the COP21 conference to jointy discuss and call for action on the global issue of climate change. 

UNWTO took part in the conference through the participation in various initiatives. These include officially partnering with Nearly Zero Energy Hotels (neZEH) and Hotel Energy Solutions (HES) to help the sector contribute by becoming more energy efficient and increasing its use of renewable energy technologies. The Nearly Zero Energy Hotels (neZEH) project aims at accelerating the rate of refurbishment of existing buildings into Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB), supporting the private sector and promoting the front runners. HES outlines three important and interrelated topics to take into consideration: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Climate Change and explains how to make a first assessment, involve staff and guests, improve equipment efficiency and harness the power of renewable energy in their Energy School.

Learn more:

UNWTO on Climate Change & Tourism

UNWTO Publication: Responding to Climate Change – Tourism Initiatives in Asia and the Pacific 

Hotel Energy Solutions 

Nearly Zero Energy Hotels (neZEH) 

COP 21 Conference