Tag Archives: Taleb Rifai

UNWTO promotes sustainable tourism with travellers’ competition

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has launched a travellers’ competition ahead of World Tourism Day in order to promote responsible travel. The initiative is part of the ‘Travel.Enjoy.Respect’ campaign taking place within the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017. The winner of the competition will be awarded a one-month trip across the world visiting sustainable tourism initiatives. The winner’s across the world journey will be supported by Explore WorldWide, an adventure travel group offering a wide range of activities and experiences with a commitment to responsible travel. Destinations including Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Ras al-Khaimah and the Léman region in Switzerland have offered to host the winner and help them discover responsible and sustainable tourism practices. “Every action counts and travellers have a strong role to play in building a more sustainable tourism sector. Imagine the impact of one small action multiplied by millions,” said Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of UNWTO. “We want to inspire all travellers to be the change they want to see in the world.”

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UNWTO launches ‘Travel.Enjoy.Respect’ campaign

In the framework of the International Year on Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is launching a consumer-oriented campaign aimed at raising awareness of the value and contribution that sustainable tourism can make towards development. The ‘Travel.Enjoy.Respect’ campaign wants to engage tourists in making the sector a catalyst for positive change. The main message of the campaign is summarised by the UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai: “Whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to: respect nature, respect culture, and respect your host. You can be the change you want to see in the world. You can be an ambassador for a better future. Travel, Enjoy and Respect.” The campaign, which will run in various languages and outlets around the world, includes a manual of ‘Tips for a Responsible Traveller’, developed by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics in line with the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. The manual provides travellers with a set of recommendations to help them make responsible choices when travelling and have a positive impact on the destinations they visit. “Today more than ever, ensuring that tourism is an enriching experience for visitors and hosts alike demands strong, sustainable tourism policies and practices and the engagement of national, as well as local, governments and administrations, private sector companies, local communities and tourists themselves,” added Rifai. The message will reach consumers through campaign supporters including among others CNN International, the Government of Andorra, the Madrid City Council, Iberia, the Spanish National Railways System (Renfe), Minube, PR MEDIACO, Cleverdis and Air Mauritius. Destinations and companies from around the world are invited to join the campaign and celebrate the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development …

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2017 is International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development recalling the potential of tourism to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute effectively to the SDGs. “This is a unique opportunity to build a more responsible and committed tourism sector that can capitalize its immense potential in terms of economic prosperity, social inclusion, peace and understanding, cultural and environmental preservation” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. Accounting for 7 per cent of worldwide exports, one in eleven jobs and 10% of the world’s GDP, the tourism sector if well managed can foster inclusive economic growth, social inclusiveness and the protection of cultural and natural assets.

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WTTC, UNWTO urge UK govt to lift air ban to Sharm el Sheikh

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) call on the UK government to lift the current ban on UK-based airlines flying to Sharm el Sheikh. In a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, and Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, UNWTO, stressed the importance of resuming operations to the Egyptian coastal resort as the current travel advisory is having devastating effects on the country’s economy and social stability. The ban has been in place since a Metrojet airline flying from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in the Sinai Desert in October 2015. They said, “Travel & Tourism is vital to Egypt’s economy and social peace, contributing 11% of the country’s GDP and 2.6 million in jobs in 2015. The reduction of visitors has created huge employment losses. The country’s biggest concern is how the lack of employment opportunities, especially for young men and women, has instilled a desperate disposition and thus vulnerability to radicalisation or to fleeing on a refugee boat.” Egyptian authorities have taken significant measures to step up the level of security not only in the airport but in the surrounding area as well. These improvements now meet the safety standards as indicated by the UK Department for Transport. All other countries, including Germany and Russia, have allowed their airlines to start flying to Sharm el Sheikh again. They concluded, “It is devastating to see the impact the current UK travel advisory has on Egypt and on the young workforce in particular. We call on the UK government to review the advisory and allow commercial aircraft to fly to Sharm el Sheikh and thereby help restore the …

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Close to one billion international tourists between Jan-Sept 2016

India has recorded a 16 per cent increase in international tourism expenditure during the first three to nine months of 2016. Destinations around the world welcomed 956 million international tourists between January and September 2016, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. This is 34 million more than in the same period of 2015, a 4 per cent increase. Among the top five source markets, China, the world’s top source market, continues to drive demand, reporting double-digit growth in spending (+19%). Likewise, robust results come from the United States (+9%), which benefited many destinations in the Americas and beyond. Germany reported a 5% increase in expenditure, the United Kingdom, a 10% increase, and France, 3% growth. Demand for international tourism remained robust in the first nine months of 2016, though growing at a somewhat more moderate pace. After a strong start of the year, growth was slower in the second quarter of 2016 to pick up again in the third quarter of the year. While most destinations report encouraging results, others continue to struggle with the impact of negative events, either in their country or in their region. Tourism spending grew notably in Australia and the Republic of Korea (both +9%), and moderately in Italy (+3%). By contrast, expenditure from the Russian Federation declined 37% and from Canada a slight 2%. Beyond the top 10, eight other markets reported double-digit growth: Egypt (+38%), Argentina (+27%), Spain (+19%), India (+16%), Thailand (+15%), Ukraine (+15%), Ireland (+12%) and Norway (+11%). “Tourism is one of the most resilient and fastest-growing economic sectors but it is also very sensitive to risks, both actual and perceived. As such, the sector must continue to work …

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APAC records highest growth in international arrivals

UNWTO forecasts international tourist arrivals to increase by 3.5 per cent to 4.5 per cent over 2016, in line with UNWTO’s long-term projection of 3.8 per cent growth a year for the period 2010 to 2020. Asia and the Pacific (+9%) recorded the highest growth in international arrivals across world regions in January-April 2016, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. South-East Asia and Oceania both achieved 10 per cent growth, while arrivals in North-East Asia increased by 8 per cent and in South Asia by 7 per cent. Destinations worldwide received 348 million international tourists (overnight visitors) between January and April 2016, some 18 million more than the same period last year (+5.3%). This follows an increase of 4.6 per cent in 2015, and could make 2016 the seventh consecutive year of above-average growth, with international arrivals increasing by 4 per cent or more every year following the crisis in 2009. “Results show a strong desire to travel and this continues to drive tourism growth. Destinations keep benefitting from solid demand across all world regions despite ongoing challenges, showing that tourism is a dynamic and resilient economic sector,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. “Yet, despite these good results, the tragic events of recent months remind us that safety and security remain a major challenge for all. We must continue to work closely together to address this global threat and ensure tourism is an integral part of emergency planning and response at global, regional and national level,” added Rifai.

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Brussels’ attacks: snowball effect on tourism?

Tourism Breaking News asked the travel industry about the effect of the Brussels terror attacks on tourism and received a mixed reaction. While some said that tourism trends will shift to other regions like South East Asia and short haul destinations, some believe that this is a short term effect and will be wiped off the traveller’s memory soon. On behalf of the international tourism community, Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, UNWTO, condemned the terror attacks in Brussels and expressed heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims and to the Belgian people.

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