Tag Archives: UNWTO

901mn international tourist arrivals worldwide from Jan-Aug

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals between January and August 2017, recording 56 million more than in the same period of 2016. This corresponds to a robust 7 per cent increase, well above the growth of previous years. With upbeat prospects for the remaining months of the year, 2017 is set to be the eighth consecutive year of continued solid growth for international tourism. South Asia (+10 per cent) led growth in Asia and the Pacific (+6 per cent), followed by South-East Asia (+8 per cent) and Oceania (+7 per cent). By UNWTO regions, growth was strongest in Africa (+9 per cent) and Europe (+8 per cent), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6 per cent), according to a survey by experts for the UNWTO Confidence Index, who evaluated the May-August period very positively. “Tourism is a major economic engine and employment generator, contributing to the improvement of livelihoods of millions of people around the world,” stated UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. Among the top 10 markets, international tourism expenditure grew fastest in China (+19 per cent), the Republic of Korea (+12 per cent), the United States (+8 per cent) and Canada (+7 per cent).

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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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Historical decision: UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics approved

The member States of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) have approved a historical document – the UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics. The Convention, approved at the 22nd UNWTO General Assembly transforms the Code of Ethics for Tourism into an international convention, the first in the life of the organisation. The Convention covers the responsibilities of all stakeholders in the development sustainable tourism, providing a framework that recommends an ethical and sustainable modus operandi, including the right to tourism, the freedom of movement for tourists and the rights of employees and professionals. “In an interconnected world where the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, ‎food products or automobiles, it is important to set out a legal framework to ensure that growth is dealt with responsibly and that it can be sustained over time. Tourism is a power that must be harnessed for the benefit of all,” said the Chairman of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE), Pascal Lamy. Appointed as Chairman of the WTCE in 2013, Pascal Lamy, together with his colleagues in the Committee, has been instrumental in the process of presenting the Convention on Tourism Ethics to the 22nd UNWTO General Assembly. The conversion of the Code, which was adopted in 1999, into a proper Convention represents a significant step towards ensuring that tourism development is done with full respect for sustainable development, social issues, local community development, improves understanding between cultures and addresses labour issues. “This is an historical moment for UNWTO, said the Secretary-General”, Taleb Rifai. “The approval of the Convention is a strong legacy of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development that we celebrate this year. …

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Zurab Pololikashvili is the new UNWTO Secretary General

Zurab Pololikashvili, current Ambassador of Georgia to Spain, Morocco, Algeria and Andorra, has been appointed Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the period 2018-2021. Pololikashvili’s candidature was presented by his country, Georgia, in accordance with the UNWTO statutes. He was elected by consensus at the 22nd UNWTO General Assembly being held in Chengdu, China, following the recommendation of the 105th UNWTO Executive Council. Pololikashvili was Minister of Economic Development of Georgia (2009-2010) and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia (2005-2006).

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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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With data of NRI arrivals India jumps 16 places in International Tourist Arrivals

As per the March 2017 UNWTO barometer, India’s rank among International Tourist Arrivals in both 2014 and 2015 has bumped up to 24th compared to the previous rank of 41st and 40th, respectively. This is due to the inclusion of data regarding Non Residential Indian Arrivals allowing the comprehensive evaluation of India’s rank taking into account all factors. As per the UNWTO definition, International Tourist Arrivals (ITAs) comprises of two components namely Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) and Arrivals of Non-Resident Nationals. The UNWTO then ranks countries based upon this measure. Earlier India only compiled data on FTAs but recently has started to collect the data of Non Residential Indian arrivals. The number of ITAs in India during 2014 and 2015 were 13.11 million and 13.28 million, respectively. The number of NRI arrivals during 2014 and 2015 were 5.43 million and 5.26 million, respectively. The addition of this data is what led to the massive leap in India’s ranking. A significant jump has also been noticed in India’s rank in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index [TCCI]. India has closed down 12 places and has shifted from a rank of 52nd in 2015 to 40th in 2017.

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Philippines will host 6th UNWTO Conference on Tourism Statistics

Policy leaders, statisticians, academicians and private sector will convene in Manila, The Philippines, from June 21-24, 2017, to discuss new methodologies to measure the full impacts of tourism. The 6th edition of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) International Conference on Statistics, an official event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, will address the topic of ‘Measuring Sustainable Tourism’. Supported by the United Nations Statistics Division, the UNWTO initiative ‘Towards a Statistical Framework for Measuring Sustainable Tourism’ (MST) underlines the need to measure the full effects of the tourism sector. The UNWTO International Conference to be held in Manila will serve as a platform to discuss the first draft of the MST framework and its future implementation. The Philippines has become a reference in the region with regard to tourism measurement and a role model in the development of effective inter-institutional collaboration to develop tourism statistics. The commitment of the country, shown in the development of the Tourism Satellite Account framework, explains the decision to host the discussion on the MST initiative. A Ministerial Roundtable will inaugurate the Conference in order to align efforts to advocate among governments the relevance of integrated and reliable data to manage and promote a more sustainable tourism sector. Afterwards, a Panel of Statistical Institutes will provide the opportunity to share experiences and practices implemented at global, regional and national level. Other technical sessions will focus on understanding data demands, the link between the economic, the environmental and the social dimensions of sustainable tourism, including job creation, sub-national measurement, Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs) indicators, and data sources including big data. Besides policy leaders, statistical experts and private sector, representatives from international organizations …

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UNWTO hails Kerala’s Responsible Tourism initiatives

Kerala’s award-winning ‘Responsible Tourism’ (RT) initiatives has come in for further recognition with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) describing them as a model for other destinations to replicate. The world’s foremost international tourism organisation also called for the development of closer ties between Kerala Tourism and UNWTO, emphasising the importance of further association to help take the message of sustainable tourism forward. In a recent meeting held at UNWTO headquarters in Madrid, Kerala Tourism Director, U.V. Jose presented a report on the RT campaigns – the heart of Kerala’s tourism story for nearly a decade – to Xu Jing, UNWTO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific. The report contained details of the RT policies and practices implemented in the state and the campaign’s success in giving stakeholdership to local communities and empowering them economically through activities that prioritise cultural and ecological conservation.

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MTDC-certified Govardhan Eco Village observes 2017 as Year of Yoga

Govardhan Eco Village (GEV), an ISKCON project and a wellness destination which is a premium MahaBhraman status certified by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), announced the launch of Govardhan School of Yoga. It recently received the prestigious UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) Award for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism. Dr. K.H. Govinda Raj, IAS, Managing Director of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, stated, “We are delighted to be associated with Govardhan Eco Village as they are significantly contributing through innovative initiatives which are competitive and at the same time sustainable in character. Govardhan Eco Village is the only destination in Asia to be awarded by UNWTO this year. As more people embrace overall healthier lifestyles at home, we are now seeing those behaviours translate and be integrated into their travel and vacation habits. This initiative will attract tourists from all across the world.” Govardhan Eco Village highlights the importance of spiritual ecology. The 28-day residential program will enables guests to not only learn and teach yoga, but also to learn healthy eating, taking care of your body but also meditation practices. Gauranga Das, Director, Govardhan Eco Village said,” It’s our honour and privilege to receive this award on behalf of land of India and we would like to express our gratitude to UNWTO for giving this opportunity to share this message of sustainability on a larger scale especially in this year which is celebrated as the year of sustainable tourism.”

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Sustained growth in international tourism despite challenges

International tourist arrivals grew by 3.9% to reach a total of 1,235 million, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Some 46 million more tourists (overnight visitors) travelled internationally last year compared to 2015. The year 2016 was the seventh consecutive year of sustained growth following the 2009 global economic and financial crisis. A comparable sequence of uninterrupted solid growth has not been recorded since the 1960s. As a result, 300 million more international tourists travelled the world in 2016 as compared to the pre-crisis record in 2008. International tourism receipts grew at a similar pace in this period (complete 2016 receipts results will be reported in May). “Tourism has shown extraordinary strength and resilience in recent years, despite many challenges, particularly those related to safety and security. Yet, international travel continues to grow strongly and contribute to job creation and the wellbeing of communities around the world”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. By region, Asia and the Pacific (+8%) led growth in international tourist arrivals in 2016, fuelled by strong demand from both intra- and interregional source markets. Africa (+8%) enjoyed a strong rebound after two weaker years. In the Americas (+4%) the positive momentum continued. Europe (+2%) showed rather mixed results, with double-digit growth in some destinations offset by decreases in others. Demand in the Middle East (-4%) was also uneven, with positive results in some destinations, but declines in others.

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