#UNWTO News Updates


UNWTO/UNESCO Conference: Cultural Tourism Sustains Communities and Living Heritage

The third cultural tourism conference organized jointly between the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) concluded today in Istanbul, Turkey. Participants declared their support for cultural tourism as a driver for safeguarding living heritage, catalyzing creativity in cities, and spreading tourism’s socioeconomic benefits to all.

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10 Finalists Announced in 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition in Collaboration with Globalia

The 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition is a pioneering initiative that has identified emerging companies at the forefront of the transformation of the tourism sector and the promotion of innovation ecosystems through tourism. It is organized by UNWTO in partnership with Globalia, the leading tourism group in Spain and Latin America. The 10 finalists will present their projects within the framework of the Fitur International Tourism Fair (23-27 January 2019, Madrid, Spain) with the presence of global tourism leaders from the public and private sectors, as well as potential investors.

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World Tourism Organization Partners with Unidigital Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Americas

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) provided its support at the inauguration in Argentina of the first specialized hub for tourism in the Americas: Unidigital, with which a collaboration agreement was signed to promote innovation in tourism. It will offer services, products and training in digital transformation in order to allow the most disruptive entrepreneurs in tourism in the Americas to develop their projects. The Hub was presented as part of the UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure Forum, held on 11-13 December 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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San Sebastián to Take World Gastronomy Tourism Spotlight in May

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) will co-organize the 5th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism on 2-3 May, 2019 at the Kursaal Congress Center in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain. The Forum will focus on the contribution of gastronomy tourism to job creation and to the promotion of entrepreneurship. The Forum has been held since 2015 and is hosted by the BCC every two years.

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Finalists of the 15th UNWTO Awards Announced

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced the finalists to win the 15th UNWTO Awards, which recognize inspirational projects having made an invaluable contribution to advance sustainable tourism. The nominees are praised for contributing to advance the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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The first UNWTO/WAEMU Regional Workshop on Tourism and Security took place in Dakar, Senegal from 11-15 December 2018 with over 40 participants in attendance from eight West African countries. The UNWTO technical workshop was jointly organized alongside the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Government of Senegal.

His Excellency Mr. Mame Mbaye Niang, Minister of Tourism of Senegal, highlighted the fact that “without security, no tourist attraction can be enjoyed nor any destination visited”

Four sessions led by key experts from several national and international organizations focused their talks around the central theme: “How can WAEMU countries reinforce their national security policies for the purpose of enhancing the protection of tourists?”

The final recommendations given during the close of the event were aimed at permitting greater cooperation between the participating countries for tourism and security and were supported by high officials and key actors throughout the region.

FITUR 2019 (23 – 27 January 2019, Madrid, Spain)
Fitur 2019: UNWTO Workshop on Product, People and Policy: Understanding the Success of Asian Tourism (23 January 2019, 15:30-17:30, Madrid, Spain)
INVESTOUR 2019: X Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (24 January 2019, Madrid, Spain)
B2B Session of INVESTOUR 2019 (24 January 2019, 15:00-19:00, Madrid, Spain)
2nd Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs) (29 January 2019, Montego Bay, Jamaica)

Exploring Health Tourism

The ETC/UNWTO publication on Exploring Health Tourism aims to provide a better understanding of the growing segment of wellness and medical tourism. The study introduces the evolution of health-related tourism products and services from all around the world and provides insights into the current situation of the industry, as well as the future potential. It also includes a comprehensive taxonomy that serves as a common reference for tourism destinations operating in this field, as well as a practical toolkit to assist NTOs and DMOs with their planning and management of health-related tourism activities.

Download your copy here:

Unidigital is the first specialized hub for tourism in the Americas. The World Tourism Organization inaugurated this space as a home where entrepreneurs can tie art, technology, and tourism together. Likewise, spaces such as Unidigital provide solutions to challenges related to digital transformation and are a source of employment generation, competitiveness and sustainable development.

Innovation hubs for tourism are key to enabling startups for sustainable development and UNWTO is working to make them increasingly common around the world as more entrepreneurs search for innovative spaces to help push sustainable tourism as the next technical revolution.

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