The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is calling for enhanced cooperation between the transport and tourism sectors to combat climate change.
On the sidelines of the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, the agency on Wednesday released on Wednesday the Transport Related CO2 Emissions of the Tourism Sector report, which estimates that by 2030, transport-related emissions from tourism will comprise 5.3 per cent of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions.
“This comprehensive study analyses the environmental impact of the different modes of transport within the tourism sector”, UNWTO Executive Director Manuel Butler said at the launch.
UNWTO said transport-related emissions remain a major challenge: “While tourism is mentioned in many Nationally Determined Contributions as a big concern, not enough has yet been done”, said Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Against the backdrop of a growing number of sightseers both at home and abroad, the data factors in the predicted growth in global emissions to 2030 and is set against the “current ambition” for the decarbonization of transport.
“Industry must do more, but Governments must align their policies, so that at the international level we can collectively work to increase ambition”, Mr. Sarmad added. “The One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme is a vital ongoing mechanism to promote sustainable tourism around the world.”
High ambition scenario
Transport-related CO2 emissions remain a major challenge and require tourism sectors to work closely with transport sectors worldwide in order to support its commitment to accelerate decarbonization.
In addition, the tourism industry must determine its own high ambition scenario, complementing the efforts of the transport sector, such as by significantly decoupling growth from emissions, allowing expansion within the international climate targets.
“It is now for the tourism sector, especially tourism policy makers, to use data effectively and ensure the sector plays a leading role in addressing the climate emergency”, concluded the UNWTO chief.
Winners of the 2nd UNWTO tourism startup competition in Madrid
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in association with Turismo de Portugal and Globalia, the leading tourism group in Spain and Latin America, have named the eight winners of the 2nd Tourism Startup Competition. Launched in 2018, this initiative works to identify and reward the new companies that will lead the transformation of the global tourism sector within the framework of innovation and sustainability.
The final event took place in Wakalua, the tourism innovation hub promoted by Globalia in collaboration with UNWTO. This event was held on eve of FITUR, Spain’s biggest and most important tourism trade fair and was attended by UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili and the CEO of Globalia, Javier Hidalgo as well as representatives from the collaborating companies that will participate in the promotion, investment search and implementation of projects with the winner companies.
Among the stakeholders was Miguel Arias, Global Entrepreneurship Director of Telefónica, Luis Araujo, President of Tourism of Portugal. Joining them was Begoña Gomez, Director of the Africa Center, Rufino Selva, adjunct director general of the Society of Thematic Projects of the Valencia Community, Raquel Rodrigo, Senior Analyst of Amadeus and Julie Moorhouse, responsible for the New Concepts in Intu Costa del Sol.
In the Deep Tech category, rethinking the location and geolocation, driven by Amadeus, the winner is Klustera (Mexico), which works in the field of digital transformation and human behavior.
Within the Intelligent Mobility category, awarded in alliance with Telefónica, the winning startup is Eccocar (Spain), company that allows vehicles and fleets to be managed more ecologically.
In the Smart Destinations category, awarded with the collaboration of the Digital District of Valencia, the award went to Visualfy (Spain) which aims to help people with hearing loss overcome barriers and enjoy their leisure time.
Within the category of Disruptive Hospitality, awarded in partnership with Intu Costa del Sol, the award to Questo (Romania) which helps create unique experiences in destinations inspired by movies, books or local legends.
In the Rural Development section, promoted by Globalia, the winner is Like Local (The Netherlands) which connects tourists local communities in developing countries in order to offer more authentic and personal travel experiences.
The Innovative Solutions in Tourism award went to HiJiffy (Portugal), a startup that centralizes, automates and measures all hotel customer service activities.
The winners of the Social Innovator’s Retreat competition at the IE Africa Center are Enjoy Agriculture (Senegal), a startup that provides experiences for tourists related to agrotourism, and EBikes4Africa (Namibia), which offers electric bikes for both local citizens and tourists.
Finally, the Special Recognition in Sustainability prize, supported by UNWTO and Globalia has gone to Live Electric Tours (Portugal), which offers tours in 100% electric vehicles.
“Growth and consolidation are usually the biggest challenges at the beginning of any project, and our startup competition has, thanks to the support of UNWTO and our partners, become a benchmark within the sector. We have received proposals from more than 150 countries and in this second edition they come from more mature emerging companies. In fact, 10% of the companies that presented themselves invoiced more than 500,000 euros in 2018,” said Javier Hidalgo, CEO of Globalia.
Zurab Pololikashvili underlined that “innovation offers many solutions to big challenges with of the tourism sector as a global economic leader that is growing faster than the global economy, generating employment and granting opportunities for all”. He added that “without the support of Globalia we could not have identified and promoted the potential of these companies, which – no doubt – will be very successful in the future.
Luís Araújo, President of Turismo de Portugal, added: “Innovation is a major force for growth and sustainability, providing the ingredients for a long-term success in the tourism sector. The UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition’s finalist applications highlight the most innovative solutions to the future of the tourism sector. This provides a great opportunity to establish international contacts and to push innovation to the next level.”
In its first two editions, the UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition has received proposals from almost 5,000 startups. This year, the Wakalua innovation hub hosted the winning companies and will follow-up with them in Barrabes.biz, the consultancy specialized on innovation which is also a collaborator as an associate. The Globalia and UNWTO Startup Competition has become a milestone in the transformation of the tourism sector.
International tourism growth continues to outpace the global economy
According to the first comprehensive report on global tourism numbers and trends of the new decade, the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, this represents the tenth consecutive year of growth.
All regions saw a rise in international arrivals in 2019. However, uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the collapse of Thomas Cook, geopolitical and social tensions and the global economic slowdown all contributed to a slower growth in 2019, when compared to the exceptional rates of 2017 and 2018. This slowdown affected mainly advanced economies and particularly Europe and Asia and the Pacific.
Looking ahead, growth of 3% to 4% is predicted for 2020, an outlook reflected in the latest UNWTO Confidence Index which shows a cautious optimism: 47% of participants believe tourism will perform better and 43% at the same level of 2019. Major sporting events, including the Tokyo Olympics, and cultural events such as Expo 2020 Dubai are expected to have a positive impact on the sector.
Presenting the results, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that “in these times of uncertainty and volatility, tourism remains a reliable economic sector”. Against the backdrop of recently downgraded global economic perspectives, international trade tensions, social unrest and geopolitical uncertainty, “our sector keeps outpacing the world economy and calling upon us to not only grow but to grow better”, he added.
Given tourism’s position as a top export sector and creator of employment, UNWTO advocates the need for responsible growth. Tourism has, therefore, a place at the heart of global development policies, and the opportunity to gain further political recognition and make a real impact as the Decade of Action gets underway, leaving just ten years to fulfill the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Middle East leads
The Middle East has emerged as the fastest-growing region for international tourism arrivals in 2019, growing at almost double the global average (+8%). Growth in Asia and the Pacific slowed down but still showed above-average growth, with international arrivals up 5%.
Europe where growth was also slower than in previous years (+4%) continues to lead in terms of international arrivals numbers, welcoming 743 million international tourists last year (51% of the global market). The Americas (+2%) showed a mixed picture as many island destinations in the Caribbean consolidated their recovery after the 2017 hurricanes while arrivals fell in South America due partly to ongoing social and political turmoil. Limited data available for Africa (+4%) points to continued strong results in North Africa (+9%) while arrivals in Sub-Saharan Africa grew slower in 2019 (+1.5%).
Tourism spending still strong
Against a backdrop of global economic slowdown, tourism spending continued to grow, most notably among the world’s top ten spenders. France reported the strongest increase in international tourism expenditure among the world’s top ten outbound markets (+11%), while the United States (+6%) led growth in absolute terms, aided by a strong dollar.
However, some large emerging markets such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia reported declines in tourism spending. China, the world’s top source market saw outbound trips increase by 14% in the first half of 2019, though expenditure fell 4%.
Tourism delivering ‘much-needed opportunities’
“The number of destinations earning US$1 billion or more from international tourism has almost doubled since 1998,” adds Mr Pololikashvili. “The challenge we face is to make sure the benefits are shared as widely as possible and that nobody is left behind. In 2020, UNWTO celebrates the Year of Tourism and Rural Development, and we hope to see our sector lead positive change in rural communities, creating jobs and opportunities, driving economic growth and preserving culture.”
This latest evidence of the strength and resilience of the tourism sector comes as the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary. During 2020, through the UN75 initiative the UN is carrying out the largest, most inclusive conversation on the role of global cooperation in building a better future for all, with tourism to be high on the agenda.
UNWTO successfully completes tourism marketing project for Yunnan Province, China
A delegation from UNWTO visited Kunming to deliver a training seminar on implementing the International Tourism Marketing Strategy designed for the Yunnan Province of China.
The strategy was designed by UNWTO experts in partnership with the Yunnan Provincial Tourism Department. Now, with the province working to grow its tourism sector, including through expanding its French source market, UNWTO hosted a special training seminar for stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
The seminar was attended by 35 representatives from the Provincial Tourism Department, the tourism departments of main cities and prefectures in Yunnan, and tourism companies targeting international tourists.
The project has laid a sound basis to develop attractive packages and further promote the diverse tourism products of Yunnan Province to the international market, with a view to enhance international tourism’s contribution to the local economy.
World’s Largest Companies Support Developing Core Set of Universal ESG Disclosures
On Tuesday, the chief executive officers of many of the world’s largest companies expressed support for aligning on a core...
The outcome of the Berlin Conference
Twelve countries and organizations have participated in the Berlin Conference on Libya, which has just ended. There have been all...
Global Leaders Unite Under the Food Action Alliance to Deliver a Better Future for People and Planet
The World Economic Forum, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)and Rabobank, together with a growing roster of private and...
Fifteen Years to Save the Amazon Rainforest from Becoming Savannah
The pace of deforestation in the Amazon, coupled with last year’s devastating forest fires, has pushed the world’s largest rainforest...
Multistakeholder Mobilization to Reinforce Cyber Resilience in Global Aviation
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming the way airlines and airports do business. The advancement of technologies such as artificial...
Sustainability Is Key if Financial Markets Are to Remain Buoyant
With the global economy back on a more stable footing, the focus of policy-makers is shifting towards creating a more...
The right to affordable housing: Europe’s neglected duty
Increasingly making the headlines, the scarcity of affordable housing in Europe is a serious and growing problem that pushes an...
Green Planet2 days ago
You never miss the water, till the well runs dry
Economy3 days ago
Chamber of Commerce: A new world of digital future
South Asia2 days ago
Genocide: Terrible and scaring ground situation in India
East Asia3 days ago
Neo Illustration of 2020 World: Distinct Dimensions
Newsdesk3 days ago
Vietnam Prepares for Success in 4IR with World Economic Forum
Economy2 days ago
Iran: Trade centers in regional countries to spur non-oil exports
Middle East3 days ago
Turkey’s Role in the Libyan Conflict
Environment2 days ago
1t.org Announced to Accelerate Nature Restoration to Tackle Climate and Biodiversity Crises