#UNWTO News Updates

International Tourism exceeds expectations in the first months of 2018

International tourist arrivals grew 6% in the first four months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, not only continuing the strong 2017 trend, but exceeding UNWTO’s forecast for 2018. Growth was led by Asia and the Pacific (+8%) and Europe (+7%). Africa (+6%), the Middle East (+4%) and the Americas (+3%) also recorded sound results. Earlier this year, UNWTO’s forecast for 2018 was between 4-5%.

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Fostering Smart Destination Development

As the World Tourism Organization held its 2nd World Conference on Smart Destinations in the Spanish city of Oviedo (25-27 June 2018), Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili emphasized how new technologies can and should enable a more universal approach to sustainable tourism.

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Climate-friendly initiatives and actions essential for tourism, says UNWTO

The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, called for the tourism sector to take more action to combat climate change and biodiversity loss during the 30th joint meeting of its Commissions for South Asia and Asia-Pacific in Fiji (18-20 June 2018).

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African Tourism Ministers Stress the Importance of Correct Tourism Measurement for Improved Policy

“Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development”, was the theme of this year’s seminar in the context of the 61st Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa (Abuja, Nigeria, 4-6 June). The meeting included a ministerial dialogue on the importance of tourism statistics under the topic “Better measure, better manage”.

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UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism – Seizing the Power of Technology

Around 600 participants from 52 countries gathered at the 4th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism (Bangkok, Thailand, 30 May to 1 June 2018). Organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Government of Thailand, in collaboration with the Basque Culinary Center, participants addressed topics ranging from the role of technology in achieving sustainable development, to linking the whole tourism value chain to gastronomy.

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Crisis Communications Strategy in Madagascar

UNWTO conducted a Crisis Communications Workshop in Antananarivo, Madagascar in June designed to advance crisis communications coordination and preparedness for the destination. The World Bank-funded initiative equipped participants with the knowledge and skills to take a leadership role in developing and implementing a crisis communications strategy. The workshop attended by 70 government officers from Malagasy ministries addressed media relations, the structure of the Crisis Communications strategy and ICT-based tools and applications. The project implemented in Madagascar is aligned with the expertise developed by UNWTO and UNWTO Academy (formerly UNWTO Themis Foundation) in the last years through the Practicum in Crisis Communications which has seen more than 200 governments officers from around 60 countries trained in Crisis Communications.

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High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (Side Event) – Tourism & Construction: Circular Economy Solutions for SDG12 – (18 July 2018, New York, United States)
3rd UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism (6-7 September 2018, Chisinau, Moldova)
7th Global Summit on Urban Tourism (16-19 September 2018, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
2nd Ministerial Roundtable, 2018 Japan Tourism EXPO (20-23 September 2018, Tokyo, Japan)
Official Celebration of World Tourism Day 2018 – Tourism and the digital transformation (27 September 2018, Budapest, Hungary)
8th UNWTO International Meeting on Silk Road Tourism (10-12 October 2018, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Tourism for Development –Key Areas for Action and Success Stories

How can tourism effectively contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development? This flagship report addresses the changes needed in policies, business practices and consumer behaviour. Showcased along 23 case studies from around the world, this two-volume report examines the role of tourism in each of the five pillars of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017: 1. Sustainable economic growth; 2. Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction; 3. Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change; 4. Cultural values, diversity and heritage; and 5. Mutual understanding, peace and security.

Download your copy here:

Tourism for Development – Volume I: Key Areas for Action and Success Stories

Tourism for Development – Volume II: Success Stories

1st UNTWO Tourism Startup Competition

UNWTO in partnership with Globalia is pleased to announce the launch of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition, the world´s largest initiative to identify the startups that are committed to sustainability and will lead the transformation of the tourism sector. The competition is in line with UNWTO´s strategy on innovation and digital transformation and aims to unleash the potential of the sector by fostering the innovation of tourism products and uptake of new technologies towards making tourism smarter, more competitive and more responsible.

The objective of the programme is to select the best solutions and the most disruptive projects related to the future of travel, the tourism experience, environmental impact and community development. Following a global call for applications, which began on 26 June 2018, the 20 most disruptive startups will receive a fully-sponsored trip to pitch their solutions to a jury of tourism leaders, including top global investors, at this year’s official celebration of World Tourism Day on September 27th in Budapest, Hungary. The winners of this competition will have the opportunity to be part of the leading companies in the tourism sector. Applications are open from 26 June to 3 September 2018, to submit an application and for more information please visit the official Website.