Press releases

30 March 2017 UNWTO welcomes the celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity on ‘Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism’
The Convention on Biological Diversity of the United Nations has chosen ‘Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism’ as the theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity. The celebration takes places annually on 22 May. The decision aims at supporting the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development which is being commemorated worldwide throughout 2017.  
29 March 2017 International Tourists to the European Union reach almost half a billion in 2016
International tourist arrivals to the European Union increased by 4% in 2016, reaching almost 500 million or 40% of the world’s total. This preliminary result is included in the first release of the ‘European Union Short-Term Tourism Trends’, a regular monitoring of EU tourism by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in the framework of the cooperation with the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROWTH) of the European Commission (EC). 
27 March 2017 The role of tourism in reducing poverty discussed at UNWTO Workshop in China
The power of tourism to induce poverty reduction and development constituted the main focus of the UNWTO Workshop held in Guangdong, China. The workshop was conducted under the framework of the agreement signed between UNWTO and the Chimelong Group in 2016 designed to support sustainable tourism and wildlife protection through tourism.
24 March 2017 UNWTO appoints Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa as Ambassador of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
The President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities and Chairperson of the Board of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage, Shaika Mai Bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, has been appointed as Special Ambassador of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017. 
24 March 2017 New technologies key for Europe’s tourism leadership
Tourism experts as well as political and private sector representatives met in Madrid to discuss the challenges and opportunities offered by new technologies in order to continue advancing in areas such as the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector in Europe. The conference, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Amadeus IT Group and the European Parliament, took place in the Office of the European Parliament in Spain. 
23 March 2017 Innovation and technology, keys to increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of tourism in Europe
Europe is the most visited region on the planet. However, European tourism is undergoing significant changes brought about by the digitalization of the economy. Today's traveller demands new experiences, new products and greater connectivity, factors that determine the competitiveness of tourist destinations. In order to meet these challenges, it is necessary to define a common ground for the future of tourism based on competition, sustainability targets, information security and the use of big data. To discuss this issue and share experiences, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Amadeus IT Group and the European Parliament will hold a conference on 24 March at the Office of the European Parliament in Spain.  
22 March 2017 UNWTO welcomes Morocco as a partner of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017
Morocco has become the latest country to join UNWTO as partner of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017. The commitment was delivered at the Moroccan Day of Sustainable and Responsible Tourism held on 20 March in Rabat. 
21 March 2017 UNWTO Seminar addresses tourism development in the Russian regions of the Silk Road
The potential of tourism itineraries and products in the Russian regions of Silk Road has centred the debates of a Seminar conducted last 12 March in Moscow by UNWTO. The Seminar was held in the framework of the UNWTO Silk Road Programme in cooperation with the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism and the Intourmarket Tourism Fair. 
20 March 2017 UNWTO Secretary-General welcomes Japan’s support for tourism when meeting with Prime Minister Abe
The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Taleb Rifai, applauded Japan’s commitment to tourism development as one of the significant pillars of the socio-economic agenda during a recent official visit to Japan. Meeting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mr Rifai welcomed Japan’s Action Program for Tourism focused on infrastructure development, visa facilitation and technology.  
17 March 2017 Statement: UNWTO Secretary-General Candidates
The Secretariat of the World Tourism Organization referring to decision CE/DEC/15(CIV) of the Executive Council at its 104th session (Luxor, Egypt, 30 October – 1 November 2016), on the procedure for the election of the Secretary-General, informs in regards to the election for the post of Secretary-General for the period 2018-2021.