NEWS UPDATES FROM UNWTO – THE WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) held a meeting in Madrid with the objective of opening the debate on the labour market in the tourism sector. The event, organized in the context of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, took place at the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda of the Government of Spain.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the People’s Government of Guilin of China held the 11th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook on 10-12 October 2017. The theme of this year’s edition – ‘Sustainable Tourism: Beyond Being Green’, aligns with the celebration of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. With the longstanding collaboration of the Hong-Kong Polytechnic University, the Forum has become over the last eleven years a reference platform on global and regional tourism trends.
To highlight the relevance of wine and gastronomy as key components of tourism development, the 2nd UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism was held in Mendoza, Argentina on 29-30 September. The Conference was co-organized by UNWTO and the Ministry of Tourism of Argentina, in collaboration with the Region of Mendoza and the Chamber of Tourism of Argentina.
With a leading role in the recent approval of the Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics by the UNWTO General Assembly held in Chengdu, China, the composition of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics has been renewed.
Celebrated worldwide since 1980, World Tourism Day is commemorated on 27 September. This year, the Official Celebrations are held in Doha, the capital city of Qatar.
Within the framework of ST-EP (Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty), UNWTO provided support to the Ministry of Tourism of Uganda in the implementation of the Kisiizi Falls tourism project. The Kisiizi Falls are located on the Rushoma River, on the way to the main National Parks in Western Uganda and in an area managed by the Kisiizi Hospital.
The project aimed at enhancing tourist activities at Kisiizi Falls and helped build a visitor center, toilets, hiking trails, viewing points, a monument, a lagoon, a zip line, a hanging bridge, road signage and information boards. In addition, the project mobilized the community and provided training in guiding skills and hospitality services.
As a result of the project, Kisiizi Falls is experiencing increased visitor traffic (7,856 visitors during the first half of 2017) and community enterprises are benefiting through the sales of tourism products and services. A part of the income generated from tourism goes to the Good Samaritan Fund that caters for the health costs of disadvantaged community members, who otherwise would not be able to afford medical care.
African Ambassadors Meeting (31 October 2017, Madrid, Spain)
This release of the European Union Short-Term Tourism Trends presents data for international tourist arrivals to the European Union (EU-28) in the first half of 2017. It also provides a glance of international tourism expenditure and international tourism receipts for the same period.
According to data available through June 2017, 14 out of the 28 countries of the European Union recorded double-digit growth in arrivals. It is estimated that, overall, EU-28 destinations received 231 million international tourist arrivals between January and June 2017, 17 million more than in 2016. This represents a remarkable 8% increase over 2016, making the current January-June period the strongest half-year in the EU since 2010. Results are underpinned by robust growth in many destinations and a recovery in those that suffered declines in previous years.
Growth in international tourism receipts reported by the top five EU-28 destinations was fairly strong. Spain recorded the highest growth (+12%), followed by the United Kingdom (+11%) and France (+8%). Germany (+4%) and Italy (+3%) also reported good results.
Growth in international tourism expenditure was also robust in the four top EU-28 source markets. Germany (the world’s third largest market) recorded a 3% increase through June. The United Kingdom (+8%) France grew 11% in the first half of 2017, while Italy recorded 5% growth.
With international tourist arrivals forecast to reach 1.8 billion in 2030, the greatest challenge for the tourism sector is to shape this growth so it contributes to environmental conservation, resource efficiency and cultural preservation while creating inclusive economic opportunities. In response to this challenge, the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production was created in 2014 to blend the expertise, technical capacity and reach of governments, NGOs, international organizations, business, academia and consumer organizations.
In the second edition of the Programme’s Annual Magazine, a variety of multi-stakeholder initiatives are highlighted. They focus on: developing and applying sustainable tourism policies; enhancing sustainability practices in the private sector; providing sustainability guidelines and technical solutions for all actors; and fostering investment for sustainable tourism. Activities range from planning to reduce tourism’s carbon footprint in the Bahamas to trainings in Mozambique and sustainability awards in Brazil. Initiatives on biodiversity conservation in New Zealand, creating linkages with local producers in Turkey and food waste reduction in hotels in Thailand are also part of the programme’s portfolio. These practical, on-the-ground projects illustrate the power and potential of this collaborative global network to make a positive impact on people and planet.
UNWTO together with the co-leads, the governments of France, Morocco and the Republic of Korea and the 10YFP Secretariat at UN Environment will continue to work in the framework of the Programme, with the fundamental support and commitment of the members of the advisory committee and many other programme partners. We trust that the practical projects, experience and policies set out in the Magazine will inspire transformative action across the tourism sector contributing to build a more sustainable and resilient future for all.