BERLIN, 9 March 2017: Tourism can transform our world and build better understanding in a world living a deficit of tolerance, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, at the opening ceremony of the 2017 edition of ITB Berlin, Wednesday.
He appeared to make a veiled reference to US President Donald Trump’s now infamous travel ban and the signing off a revised ban on Monday.
“We live the worst of times and the best of times. Times when we wake up… to the threat of terrorism on our doorsteps and the glooming numbers of unemployment. Times of isolationism and ill-conceived actions like travel bans, which do not lead to increased security, but just to growing tension. Despite all these complex and interlinked challenges, despite acts against the freedom of travel, the power of tourism continues to shine through the darkness,” Rifai said. Read more
BANGKOK, 20 February 2017: UNWTO should be applauded for its efforts to introduce a charter on tourist protection. It’s a subject that rarely raises glasses in a toast of support at travel trade cocktail parties.
The trade is usually preoccupied with protecting its own interests in the time of crisis. That could extend to outdoing competitors with a not-to-be missed discount loaded with small print to trap consumers during a tour operator’s hour of need.
UNWTO has put the shoe on the other foot this time looking at how we should care for consumers in their hour of need. Read more
LONDON, 9 February 2017: Travel-related associations worldwide have endorsed UNWTO’s initiative to designate 2017, International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
Global Travel Association Coalition, which brings together the major global travel associations and organisations, said in a statement Wednesday it was an opportunity to underline the immense socio-economic opportunities, and encourage understanding, peace and sustainable development, worldwide.
GTAC consists of the major associations in the global travel and tourism sector, namely ACI, CLIA, IATA, ICAO, PATA, UNWTO WEF, and WTTC. Read more
MADRID, 2 February 2017: The World Tourism Organisation joins the chorus of protests denouncing President Trump’s travel ban that impacts on seven nations in the Middle East and North Africa.
UNWTO said it was expressing deep concern and strong condemnation over the recently announced travel ban by the United States of America (USA) to nationals of seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen).
The travel ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom of travel and travel facilitation promoted by the international tourism community, the UNWTO statement read. Read more
MADRID, 2 February 2017: Tony and Maureen Wheeler, co-founders of the widely-known Lonely Planet Publications received the 13th UNWTO Lifetime Achievement Award recently.
The prize is conferred every year to individuals with visionary leadership who make significant contributions to the global tourism sector.
Lonely Planet inspired travellers, writers and the tourism sector, worldwide, a role that constituted the main reason why the UNWTO presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to the Wheelers. Read more
MADRID, 20 January 2017: Demand for international tourism remained robust in 2016 despite challenges.
International tourist arrivals grew by 3.9% to reach a 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.
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). Read more
MADRID, 18 January 2017: The World Tourism Organisation and Japan International Cooperation Agency have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to promote sustainable tourism.
The agreement, undersigned by UNWTO secretary-general, Taleb Rifai, and JICA executive senior vice president, Kazuhiko Koshikawa, taps JICA’s status as one of the largest global donors supporting sustainable tourism projects.
A key element of the agreement will focus on assisting developing countries to reduce poverty through tourism as well as to improve public policies and business practices. Read more
MADRID, 17 January 2017: Spain expects foreign visitors to the country to rise even further after it hosted a record 75.3 million international travellers last year.
“Far be it from me to think that we have hit a ceiling, we are far from that,” Tourism Minister Alvaro Nadal told a news conference, held late last week, to present tourism figures for 2016.
Tourist arrivals, last year increased by 9.9% over the 68.1 million foreign visitors who flocked to the country in 2015. It was the fourth consecutive year of record arrivals. Read more
MADRID, 4 January 2016: UNWTO has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development according to secretary-general, Taleb Rifai.
He confirmed the 2017 theme in a New Year letter to stakeholders released, Tuesday, that outlined the challenges and opportunities facing global tourism.
He also confirmed 2017 would be his final year as UNWTO Secretary-General, a position he has held for seven years. Read more
MADRID, 30 September 2016: International tourist arrivals, worldwide, grew by 4% between January and June, a year-on-year comparison with Asia-Pacific leading growth markets.
Destinations worldwide received 561 million international tourists (overnight visits), 21 million more than in 2015, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
Asia and the Pacific demonstrated renewed strength this first half of 2016, receiving 9% more international arrivals, the highest growth across world regions. Read more