Tag Archives: UNWTO

Engaging communities in tourism

Natalia Bayona

Natalia Bayona, Director Innovation, Digital Transformation and Investments- UNWTO said, “Looking at World tourism day this year there are two areas they are focusing on in terms of rural development. First is development of rural areas is part of teaching opportunities to the community and secondly to identity and heritage of the destination bringing rural experiences as a way to preserve heritage and added value. She also reiterated that at this point of time social distance is important hence nature, adventure and cultural tourism are other ways to diversify. She further stated that in creating innovation in tourism sector with technologies they signed an agreement with google arts and culture where you can multiply rural territories to spread the voice and promote as emerging destinations.”

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UNWTO to establish regional office in Riyadh, KSA

His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Tourism announced that the establishment of the UNWTO Regional Office for the Middle East in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has been approved by UNWTO Executive Council members. The announcement was made in a statement at the 112th session of the UNWTO Executive Council, hosted in Georgia, Tbilisi. The new UNWTO Regional Office will serve as a hub for the UNWTO to 13 countries in the Middle East. The office will focus on building long-term growth for the sector and human capital development in the travel and tourism sector in the region. The office will also include a dedicated Statistics Center whose objective is to become the leading authority on tourism statistics for the region. In the statement, His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb reiterated his continued support to the UNWTO. “International cooperation and the role of the UNWTO are more important than ever. I am therefore very excited that Saudi Arabia will become home to the first ever UNWTO Regional Office, which aims to support growth at a national and regional level. We hope this will provide a model for future collaborations around the world. Tourism not only boosts economies, it also builds bridges between cultures and enriches lives. It is one of the only sectors that is able to drive such tangible transformative change, on so many levels.” His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb further highlighted the importance of tourism within the Kingdom’s vision and national strategy. “In Saudi Arabia, we are very aware of the transformative power of tourism on the economy and people. We may still be a young destination, but tourism is at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s vision for the future,” said …

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WTM partners with ITIC to launch ‘tourism investment summit’

WTM LOGO

WTM London and ITIC will come up together to host a tourism investment summit that will help recover businesses and restore travellers’ confidence after the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference aims to explain the financial mechanisms that allow travel companies to recover and rebuild. Investment experts will also give guidelines on how to prepare for any other future global disaster. Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman of ITIC and former Secretary-General of UNWTO said, “It is a great honour and a privilege for ITIC to partner with WTM, the greatest and most impactful Tourism Trade Show in the world. It will focus to prepare a comprehensive tourism recovery plan, to rebuild destinations, encourage innovation and investment, and rethink the tourism sector”. Ibrahim Ayoub, Group CEO, MD and Organiser of ITIC said, “We are thrilled to partner with WTM for our third tourism investment conference where Ministers, Policy Makers, Tourism Leaders and Projects Owners will engage with Investors and Private Equity firms to discuss and explore new financial mechanisms and alliances in sustainable investments in the industry and readying for market recovery in the post COVID-19 era”. Simon Press says, “Our virtual event provides us with the opportunity to work closely with the global travel professionals and ensure we can support the industry in recovering, rebuilding and innovating as quickly and efficiently as possible. “WTM Virtual will embrace travel professional’s communities around the globe. We’re very excited to provide to our clients and visitors the opportunity to attend both shows: live and virtual this year”.

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Saudi Arabia hosts 46th meeting of UNWTO Commission for the Middle East

46th meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for the Middle East was successfully concluded, with His Excellency Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, participating from Al-Baha, one of the distinctive tourism destinations announced as part of the ‘Saudi Summer’ programme launched in the Kingdom last week. The meeting was held virtually with the participation of His Excellency the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, Zurab Pololikashvili, ministers and officials from Member States, representatives of Arab and International Organizations, and the UNWTO Regional Director for the Middle East, Basma Al-Mayman. Speaking during the meeting, His Excellency Al-Khateeb said, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia considers the UNWTO as one our primary stakeholders, and we are working with it on a number of projects, including a study on women’s contribution to the tourism sector in the Middle East, which is of significant importance as we progress towards achieving our development goals. We are aiming to host more meetings and conferences with the UNWTO in the Kingdom so we can continue these important efforts whilst highlighting the Kingdom’s amazing tourism sites and destinations once it is safe to do so.” “We are developing tangible action to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, support the tourism sector and integrate it within economic recovery programmes whilst promoting the highest standards of safety for travellers. To this end, we will work with our partners in the UNWTO and WTTC, as well as through our work as G20 President, to continue these multilateral efforts towards a global tourism recovery plan,” he concluded.

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UNWTO calls for responsible restart of tourism sector

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has released new data measuring the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, as tourism slowly restarts in an increasing number of countries. UNWTO emphasises the need for responsibility, safety and security as restrictions on travel are lifted. The Organization also reiterates the need for credible commitment to support tourism as a pillar for recovery. After several months of unprecedented disruption, the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer reports that the sector is beginning to restart in some areas, most notably in Northern Hemisphere destinations. At the same time, restrictions on travel remain in place in a majority of global destinations, and tourism remains one of the worst affected of all sectors. Against this backdrop, UNWTO has reiterated its call for governments and international organizations to support tourism, a lifeline for many millions and a backbone of economies. Restarting tourism in a responsible way a priority. The gradual lifting of restrictions in some countries, together with the creation of travel corridors, the resumption of some international flights and enhanced safety and hygiene protocols, are among the measures being introduced by governments as they look to restart tourism.

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UNWTO joins President Sánchez for revival of Spain’s tourism sector

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has welcomed Spain’s readiness to lead the way in restarting tourism. The head of the United Nations specialised agency attended a meeting with Spanish President Pedro Sánchez in Madrid to learn about his government’s work to ease restrictions on travel introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO was invited to speak during the presentation of the restart plan as Spain looks to harness the power of the tourism sector to drive wider economic recovery. As well as being one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, Spain is also the host country of UNWTO and one of its firmest allies in the mission to make the sector a cornerstone of national and international sustainable development. COVID-19 hit Spain hard, bringing tourism to a near-standstill. Now, under President Sánchez’s leadership, the government is working to restart tourism, providing a lifeline for the millions of people across Spain who depend on the sector for their livelihoods. The government has announced will soon open its borders to tourists from within the European Union. At the same time, the Spanish government has announced a support package worth 4.2 billion Euros for tourism, a sector that supports millions of jobs across the country.

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UNWTO releases COVID-19 Technical Assistance Package for tourism recovery

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has released a Tourism Recovery Technical Assistance Package to offer guidance to Member States in response to COVID-19. The package is structured around three main pillars: economic recovery, marketing and promotion and institutional strengthening and resilience building. With tourism among the hardest-hit of all sectors, UNWTO has identified three possible scenarios for the months ahead. Depending on when restrictions on travel are lifted, international tourist arrivals could decline by 60-80 per cent in 2020. This could translate into a decline in export revenues from tourism of between US$910 billion to US$1.2 trillion and place 100-120 million jobs directly at risk. The social ripple effect is also feared to be at least equally challenging for many societies the world over. Against this backdrop, this package is designed to support governments, the private sector and donor agencies face this unprecedented socio-economic emergency.

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Urgent appeal to international community to support African Travel & Tourism sector

Five international air transport and tourism bodies have launched an appeal to international financial institutions, country development partners and international donors to support Africa’s Travel & Tourism sector which employs some 24.6 million people on the African continent. Without urgent funding, the COVID-19 crisis could see a collapse of the sector in Africa, taking with it millions of jobs. The sector contributes $169 billion to Africa’s economy combined, representing 7.1 per cent of the continent’s GDP. The request is being made by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA). “The sector and the millions of livelihoods it supports across the world, including vulnerable communities are particularly exposed. International financial support is key to ensuring that tourism can lead to wider economic and social recovery in these communities,” said Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO. “Containing the pandemic is the top priority. But without a lifeline of funding to keep the Travel & Tourism sector alive, the economic devastation of COVID-19 could take Africa’s development back a decade or more,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director-General and CEO, IATA. “The Travel & Tourism sector is in a fight for survival, with nearly eight million in Africa alone due to the COVID-19 crisis. Travel & Tourism is the backbone of many economies across Africa and its collapse will lead to hundreds of millions of livelihoods being impacted and enormous financial pressure for years to come. Now, more than ever, it is vital that governments work together on a global coordinated approach towards a swift recovery and ongoing …

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UNWTO predicts international tourist arrivals to fall by 80% in 2020

The latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows, international tourism down 22 per cent in Q1 and could decline by 60-80 per cent over the whole year with 67 million fewer international tourists up to March translates into US$80 billion in lost exports. UNWTO has outlined three possible future scenarios depending on how the crisis unfolds. This places millions of livelihoods at risk and threatens to roll back progress made in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO, said, “Tourism has been hit hard, with millions of jobs at risk in one of the most labour-intensive sectors of the economy. Tourism has been hit hard, with millions of jobs at risk in one of the most labour-intensive sectors of the economy. Available data reported by destinations point to a 22 per cent decline in arrivals in the first three months of the year, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Arrivals in March dropped sharply by 57 per cent following the start of a lockdown in many countries, as well as the widespread introduction of travel restrictions and the closure of airports and national borders. This translates into a loss of 67 million international arrivals and about US$80 billion in receipts (exports from tourism). Although Asia and the Pacific shows the highest impact in relative and absolute terms (-33 million arrivals), the impact in Europe, though lower in percentage, is quite high in volume (-22 million). The estimates regarding the recovery of international travel is more positive in Africa and the Middle East with most experts foreseeing recovery still in 2020. Experts in the Americas are the least optimistic and least likely to believe …

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ATB launches innovative health and safety campaign to further strengthen tourism industry

The Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB), together with the State Tourism Agency (STA) of the Republic of Azerbaijan and in cooperation with Food Safety Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (AQTA), has announced the launch of an innovative programme called SAHMAN (Sanitation and Hygiene Methods and Norms). It is a nationwide campaign set to transform Azerbaijan’s existing health, safety and hygiene standards. Supported by the UNWTO, it also reaffirms the country’s commitment towards providing a world-class tourism destination for its citizens and future visitors alike in the post-pandemic world. ATB is finalising talks with international firm PwC to audit and certify these standards. As part of the countrywide measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, SAHMAN is founded upon safety, transparency, social responsibility and inclusivity. The programme will adopt a holistic approach to fuel innovation across the tourism industry, ensuring the involvement of all relevant public and private partners, and the safety of those working in the sector. It will culminate with the launch of Azerbaijan’s Domestic Tourism Campaign this summer. Florian Sengstschmid, CEO of Azerbaijan Tourism Board commented, “The current global pandemic has brought to light the need to reassess and enhance our standards across the industry. The SAHMAN programme calls upon all stakeholders in Azerbaijan to adopt even better practices in their businesses in the interest of safeguarding public health and supporting the regrowth of the industry. With this long-term shift in behaviour, we aim to ensure that these higher standards will be upheld beyond the current crisis.” To launch the campaign, ATB and STA have partnered with the Azerbaijan Hotel Association (AHA), Food Safety Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (AQTA), regional municipalities and DMOs, with plans to …

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