World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

    The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is an agency of the United Nations which aims to promote responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. Being the leading tourism organization, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability. It also works as a supporter and leader in advancing tourism policies globally.

    Currently, the UNWTO has 160 member states, 6 associate members and more than 500 affiliate members. It includes the representation of the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.

    UNWTO encourages its member states, associate members and affiliate members to implement the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism so that they can maximize the tourism’s socio-economic contribution and minimize its negative impacts. Moreover, its major goal is to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting tourism as its instrument. SDGs are focused on reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development around the world.

    Secretariat of the UNWTO

    The headquarter of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is based in Madrid, Spain. Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization is focused on promoting tourism as a driver of gender equality, job creation, and rural development. Member states, governments and international organizations have shown their support for him by approving his management vision.

    The Secretariat of the UNWTO has different departments covering issues including sustainability, tourism, education, sustainable development, Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), ethics, risks and crisis management, etc. Regional departments for Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East serve as a link between the organization and its 160 Member States. The Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Department carries out development projects in over 100 different countries. The Affiliate Members Department is the representative of over 500 UNWTO affiliate members.

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    Principles of the UNWTO

      1. Making tourism smarter by celebrating innovation and leading the digital transformation of the sector.
      1. Making tourism more competitive at every level by promoting investment and entrepreneurship.
      1. Creating more and better jobs and providing relevant training.
      1. Building resilience and promoting safe and seamless travel.
      1. Harnessing tourism’s unique potential to protect cultural and natural heritage and to support communities both economically and socially.

    Goals & Priorities of UNWTO

    1. Mainstreaming Tourism in the Global Agenda

    UNWTO advocates the value of tourism as a driver of socio-economic growth and development. It encourages the prioritization of tourism in national and international policies.

    2. Improving Tourism Competitiveness

    UNWTO aims to improve the competitiveness of its members by means of knowledge creation and exchange, human resource development. To this end, it promotes excellence in policy planning, statistics and market trends, sustainable tourism development, marketing and promotion, product development and risk and crisis management.

    3. Promoting Sustainable Tourism Development

    UNWTO supports sustainable tourism policies and practices. It promotes the policies which make optimal use of environmental resources, respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities and provide socio-economic benefit for all.

    4. Poverty Reduction and Development through Tourism

    UNWTO works toward maximizing the contribution of tourism sector in poverty reduction and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To this end, it uses tourism as an instrument for development and promotes the inclusion of tourism in the development agenda.

    5. Fostering Knowledge, Education and Capacity Building

    UNWTO supports countries to assess and address their needs in education and training. It also provides networks for knowledge creation and exchange.

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    6. Building Partnerships

    UNWTO aims to build a more sustainable, responsible and competitive tourism sector. For this, it co-operates with the private sector, regional and local tourism organizations, academia and research institutions, civil society as well as the UN system.


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