Press releases

23 May 2019 UNWTO Secretary-General meets Pope Francis, Celebrating Shared Values of Religion and Tourism
Vatican City (Vatican), 23 May 2019 – The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili has met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. During the private audience, Mr Pololikashvili expressed his gratitude for the Holy See’s commitment to eradicating poverty and promoting peace and intercultural dialogue, both central themes of UNWTO’s mandate, and outlined his vision for the role tourism can play in job creation and sustainable development.
22 May 2019 World Tourism Organization and Fundación ONCE Seek Best Accessible Destinations
• UNWTO and Fundación ONCE launch the annual ATD Distinction, recognizing the world’s best accessible destinations • Interested destinations can make their submissions to atd@unwto.org until 30 June Madrid, Spain, 22 May 2019 - The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Fundación ONCE have launched the first edition of the “Accessible Tourism Destination” (ATD) distinctions, which will recognize and promote sites that are accessible to all. 
22 May 2019 UNWTO Secretary-General on official visit to Italy, Deepening Partnership
Rome, Italy, 22 May 2019 - The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, has arrived in Rome to begin a first visit to Italy as head of the specialized agency of the United Nations. During the three-day trip, he will meet with H.E. Mr. Gian Marco Centinaio, Minister of Agricultural, Food, Forestry Policies and Tourism for Italy. Mr Pololikashvili will also pay an official visit to the Vatican on Thursday, where he will be granted an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis.
21 May 2019 International Tourism Numbers and Confidence on the Rise
Madrid (Spain), 21 May 2019 - The latest issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer from the World Tourism Organization shows that international tourism continued to grow over the first quarter of 2019. Though at a slower rate when compared with the last two years, the 4% increase registered in early 2019 is a very positive sign. The Middle East (+8%) and Asia and the Pacific (+6%) experienced the highest increase in international arrivals. Numbers in both Europe and Africa were up by 4%, and in the Americas growth was recorded at 3%.
20 May 2019 Guatemala partners with UNWTO to launch Sustainable Tourism Observatory
Madrid, Spain, 20 May 2019 – The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has welcomed Guatemala into its International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO). The Central American country becomes the 26th member of the global network which is committed to the systematic collection of data on the impacts of tourism at the destination level.
14 May 2019 UNWTO and Basque Culinary Center launch Guidelines for the Development of Gastronomy Tourism
Madrid, Spain, 14 May 2019 - The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) have launched a new set of guidelines to help destinations benefit from the growing interest in gastronomic tourism. The joint initiative was presented at the 5th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in San Sebastian, Spain. 
9 May 2019 UNWTO Secretary-General to Present Platino Award for Cinema and Education
Madrid, Spain, 9 May 2019 - The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili will recognize the Ibero-American film industry´s commitment to sustainability, openness and inclusivity at the upcoming Platinum Awards of Ibero-American Cinema (12 May, Xcaret, Riviera Maya, Mexico). 
2 May 2019 Job Creation and Entrepreneurship take Centre Stage at UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism
San Sebastian, Spain, 2 May 2019 - Around 500 participants from 90 countries are attending the 5th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in the Spanish city of San Sebastian (2-3 May), hosted by the Basque Culinary Center (BCC). This year’s event centers on the contribution of gastronomy tourism to job creation and to the promotion of entrepreneurship.
30 April 2019 Colombia hosts UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure: Scaling Up
• A national innovation forum• Connecting the key players of the tourism innovation ecosystem• Scaling up disruptive business models Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), 30 April 2019 – The ‘UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure: Scaling Up´ organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with the support of the Colombian government, gathered 700 participants from around the world. Start-ups, academia, corporations, investors, business incubators and accelerators, discussed with the public sector how to strengthen and scale innovative business ideas for sustainable tourism development. 
30 April 2019 UNWTO partners with Telefónica to promote tourism sector digitalization
• The framework agreement between the two organizations was signed in Madrid by Jaime Cabal, Deputy Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, and by Eduardo Navarro, Director of Communication, Corporate Affairs, Branding and Sustainability of Telefónica. • The alliance, whose first phase will be in effect until the end of 2020, revolves around four initial lines of action: digital entrepreneurship; application of new technologies in the tourism sector; Digital Education and training; and the development of a specific Digital Agenda for the tourism industry. Madrid, 30 April 2019.- Telefónica and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have announced an agreement to collaborate in the development and implementation of digital entrepreneurship and training initiatives that allow the tourism sector to increase its competitiveness and strengthen its long-term sustainability. This agreement comes at a time of profound technological change that impacts all industrial sectors, where a commitment to innovation and transformation is essential.