The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has welcomed Guatemala into its International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO). The Central American country becomes the 26th member of the global network which is committed to the systematic collection of data on the impacts of tourism at the destination level.
The new Observatory is located in the city of La Antigua Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a leading tourism destination. Led by the Instituto Guatemalteco de Turismo (INGUAT) and supported by the Guatemalan government, the Observatory will periodically collect data and scientific evidence as it monitors the effect tourism has on the historic city. This data will then be used to assess how tourism can best be used to help drive sustainable growth and development.
“We warmly welcome Antigua´s entry into our global network of observatories. This demonstrates Guatemala’s strong commitment to tourism as a force for good,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. “The Observatory will generate more and better evidence of the economic, environmental and social impacts that tourism has on Antigua and the surrounding area. This will facilitate decision-making so that tourism can continue to drive sustainable development.”
The establishment of the new Observatory was announced during the 64th meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for the Americas, also held in Antigua (15-16 May). Moving ahead, the Observatory will work with an interdisciplinary group of local experts. This commitment to the input of local stakeholders is a key feature of the INSTO Observatories around the world.
Jorge Mario Chajón, Director General of INGUAT, adds: “This project will have a real multiplier effect, maximizing the economic as well as the social benefits that tourism brings. We welcome the opportunity to partner with UNWTO and work together to make tourism a key part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Kingdom of Morocco to Host Next WRO General Assembly in 2021
The Kingdom of Morocco has been officially chosen as the host of the 24th Session of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), to be held in 2021.
At the conclusion of the 23rd General Assembly in St Petersburg, Member States of the United Nations specialized agency for tourism, were asked to choose between Morocco, Kenya and the Philippines. All three Member States had presented their candidatures over the preceding days, highlighting their commitment to accessibility and sustainability and for using tourism as a driver for job creation and economic growth for all.
The 24th Session of the General Assembly will be held in the city of Marrakesh in 2021, with the exact dates to be confirmed.
UNWTO General-Secretary Zurab Pololikashvili said: “I offer my warmest congratulations to Morocco. They are a long-standing ally of UNWTO and at this General Assembly they clearly demonstrated how the Kingdom has embraced tourism as a driver of positive change over the past few decades. Morocco also showed it has the infrastructure and the commitment necessary to host the most important high-level even for the global tourism sector. At the same time, I thank both Kenya and the Philippines for their candidatures. Both presented exceptionally strong cases.”
For the first time at a UNWTO General Assembly, Member States used an anonymous electronic voting system, with one vote per Member State. This switch away from paper ballots brings UNWTO in line with other United Nations agencies, further emphasising the Organization’s firm commitment to becoming an integral part of the wider UN system.
Tourism has ‘Life-Changing Potential’
Tourism Ministers from around the world have gathered at the 23d Session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in St Petersburg. The future of tourism jobs in a changing world, and the way tourism can help provide education for all, has featured prominently among ministerial debates.
Held as UNWTO celebrates its Year of Jobs and Education, the High-Level Debate saw leaders and representatives from more than 100 countries discuss the biggest challenges facing the tourism sector as it works to fulfill its potential as one of the world’s main sources of employment.
Supporting 1 in 10 jobs worldwide and a leading employer of women, youth and people living in rural or marginalized communities, tourism has been recognized as a key pillar of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda. However, global demographic shifts, new technology and urbanization are all having a significant impact on both work and education in the tourism sector, and the opportunities and challenges posed by all three of these mega-trends were the subject of lively discussion in St Petersburg.
During the debate, which was moderated by UNWTO’s media partner CNN International, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “We represent one of the major drivers of global development, a leading source of employment and ongoing training, transforming the lives of millions around the world. Tourism must be ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow and this ministerial debate demonstrates that we recognize that tourism jobs need new and different skills over the coming years.”
The debate formed part of the 23rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Held every two years, the General Assembly brings together the world leaders, tourism ministers and key representatives from the public and private sectors and is the most important body of UNWTO, the United Nations specialized agency for responsible, sustainable and inclusive tourism.
African Tourism Leaders Meet in Saint Petersburg to Plot Future Growth of Continent’s Tourism Sector
Leaders from across Africa have met in Saint Petersburg ahead of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to discuss the key issues facing the continent as it looks to grow its tourism sector and harness it as a key driver of economic development and social transformation.
Held in the historic Tauride Palace, the 62nd meeting of the
UNWTO’s Regional Commission for Africa (CAF) came on the back of the latest
Barometer from the United Nations specialized agency for sustainable and responsible
tourism. This most recent data shows that international tourist arrivals to
African destinations grew by 3% during the first six months of the year when
compared with 2018. In particular, North African destinations continue to
bounce back from recent difficulties, enjoying a 10% increase in arrivals for
the six months.
The key focus of the CAF meeting was the UNWTO’s 2030 Agenda for Africa. This blueprint for the future of African tourism was launched after the UNWTO’s African Member States requested help in drawing up plans for growing and managing tourism and in making the sector a central driver of economic growth and sustainable development.
Addressing the meeting, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Africa has everything to position itself as a global tourism leader. 60% of Africans are under the age of 25. And African cities are real hubs of innovation, with entrepreneurs and innovators finding new ways to manage how we travel. With a concerted approach we can expect international tourist arrivals to Africa to reach 135 million by 2030. Together, we can ensure that this is good news for everyone. More tourists mean more jobs, more schools and greater protection for cultural and natural heritage.”
The African delegates will remain in St Petersburg for the 23rd session of the UNWTO’s General Assembly, the most important high-level event for the global tourism sector. Held every two years, this General Assembly will focus on tourism’s role in the global Sustainable Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular emphasis on the sector’s role in education, job creation and tackling climate change.
Humanitarian migration falls while labour and family migration rises
Migration flows to OECD countries rose slightly in 2018, with around 5.3 million new, permanent migrants, a 2% increase over...
After stalling last year, renewable power capacity additions to hit double-digit growth in 2019
After stalling last year, global capacity additions of renewable power are set to bounce back with double-digit growth in 2019,...
Foreign direct investment is not coming to Indonesia. Really?
The economic topic receiving most attention in the last few days is certainly that of foreign direct investment, or FDI,...
Kashmir: The Unconquerable Will of Kashmiris is still Alive
Every dictatorship flourishes more on the continuing incapacity of the public to examine and evaluate reality in the way that...
Liquidity Crisis Weighs on An Already Strangled Palestinian Economy
Palestinian Authority (PA) faces a financing gap that could exceed US$1.8 billion for 2019 driven by declining aid flows and...
How to Design Responsible Technology
Biased algorithms and noninclusive data sets are contributing to a growing ‘techlash’ around the world. Today, the World Economic Forum,...
Emerging East Asia Bond Markets Continue Growth Despite Risks
Emerging East Asia’s local currency bond market expanded steadily in the second quarter of 2019 despite downside risks stemming from...
South Asia2 days ago
Abrogation of Article 370 and Pakistan’s Pathetic Response
Eastern Europe2 days ago
Foreign Affairs of the Absurd: The Strange Case of Abkhazia 2019
East Asia3 days ago
How to turn the page on WW II in Asia
International Law3 days ago
National Interest surpassing human rights: Case study of Kashmir
Reports2 days ago
Iceland’s slowdown underlines the need to fix structural issues
Reports3 days ago
Agricultural Innovation & Technology Hold Key to Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries
Economy2 days ago
If we want sustainable development, we have to work together
East Asia3 days ago
U.S. and China Gear Up for Ideological Warfare