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PATA Annual Summit 2022 to Bring Global Travel Leaders to UAE

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PATA Annual Summit 2022 to Bring Global Travel Leaders to UAE - TRAVELINDEXRas Al Khaimah, UAE, January 1, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announces the next PATA Annual Summit will be held live and in-person from March 22 – 25, 2022 in Ras Al Khaimah, the northern most Emirate in the United Arab Emirates.

The event will be the first time that the not-for-profit travel trade association, which serves government, tourism offices, hotels, airlines and other travel-related companies with interests in the Asia Pacific region, will host its Annual Summit in West Asia. Hosted by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the four-day event will lead a global forum on sustainable growth and the value and quality of tourism today, bringing together international thought leaders, industry shapers and senior decision-makers who are invested in driving tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.

Comprising of a conference elements, experiential networking sessions, the PATA Executive Board and Board Meeting, and Annual General Meeting, the four-day Summit will be hosted in various locations across the Emirate, including the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, The Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi Desert and Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Center. Exploring the theme ‘Reconnecting the World’, the program will provide a platform for PATA’s public and private sector members and partners to convene on critical industry topics, including destination recovery strategies, sustainability and resilience, human capital development and innovation.

Additionally, PATA delegates will visit Expo 2020 to gain insight on the sustainability, innovation and design best practices around the world, including PATA Destination Members’ pavilions.

“We are honoured to be working with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority in bringing together our industry network to discuss opportunities and best practices to enable recovery and sustainable growth,” said PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera. “Next year’s event programme, under the theme ‘Reconnecting the World’, will take on a format that is more experiential, will maximize in-person connections and engage an appreciation for this beautiful destination plus the unique opportunity to experience Expo 2020. I invite all of our members, partners, Chapter members and industry colleagues to join us for this long-awaited opportunity.”

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, added “We are delighted to host the Pacific Asia Travel Association Summit for the first time in 2022. We look forward to productive talks and insights from industry leaders on critical topics shaping the industry today. As we continue to navigate through an ever-changing tourism landscape, it is even more critical to facilitate these important discussions and share key learnings. Being selected as the host destination is a testament to our destination recovery and resilience, sustainable initiatives and experience in hosting world-class events.”

Considered as the fastest growing destination in the Middle East, Ras Al Khaimah set a global benchmark by being the first city in the world to be certified safe by the ‘SafeGuard Label’ from Bureau Veritas and the ‘Safe Travels Stamp’ from the World Travel and Tourism Council. It was also named the ‘Gulf Tourism Capital’ for both 2020 and 2021 by the Gulf Cooperation Council.

With over 7,000 years of fascinating history, traditions and culture, Ras Al Khaimah promises an authentic and easily accessible Arabian experience. A haven of year-round sunshine, the Emirate features pristine beaches, lush mangroves and terracotta dunes, as well as fertile, green oases and the dramatic, awe-inspiring vistas of the majestic Hajjar mountains. From cultural escapes to eco-tourism and adrenaline-fueled adventures to beach retreats, Ras Al Khaimah caters to a full suite of travellers. The unique natural beauty of the Emirate, combined with its world-class tourism infrastructure and portfolio of global hospitality brands, makes it the perfect destination for both leisure and adventure travel as well as for business travellers.

About PATA
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for-profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its more than 650 member organisations, including 82 government, state and city tourism bodies, 14 international airlines and airports, 71 hospitality organisations and 75 educational institutions, as well as thousands of young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world. The PATA network also embraces the grassroots activism the PATA Chapters and Student Chapters, who organise numerous travel industry training programmes and business development events across the world. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 32 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 28 PATA Student Chapters globally. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing and London.

About Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA)
The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) was established in May 2011 under the government of Ras Al Khaimah. RAKTDA aims to develop the Emirate’s tourism infrastructure and establish Ras Al Khaimah as a world-class destination for leisure and business travel, creating sustainable investment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. In order to achieve its goals, the Authority has a government mandate to license, regulate and monitor the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality industry.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2022 Deferred

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World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2022 Deferred - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, December 21, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Economic Forum will defer its Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in the light of continued uncertainty over the Omicron outbreak.

The Annual Meeting was scheduled to take place in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland between 17-21 January, 2022. It is now planned for early summer.

Participants will instead join a headline series of State of the World sessions bringing together global leaders online to focus on shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Current pandemic conditions make it extremely difficult to deliver a global in-person meeting. Preparations have been guided by expert advice and have benefited from the close collaboration of the Swiss government at all levels.

Despite the meeting’s stringent health protocols, the transmissibility of Omicron and its impact on travel and mobility have made deferral necessary.

The health and safety of everyone involved in physical meetings – participants, collaborators and the host community – have always been the Forum’s priority.

“The deferral of the Annual Meeting will not prevent progress through continued digital convening of leaders from business, government and civil society,” said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “Public-private cooperation has moved forward throughout the pandemic and that will continue apace. We look forward to bringing global leaders together in person soon.”

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Ras Al Khaimah Host to Next International Start-up Innovation Camp and Summit

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Ras Al Khaimah Host to Next International Start-up Innovation Camp and Summit - TRAVELINDEXLucerne, Switzerland, December 20, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / World Tourism Forum Lucerne’s next International Start-up Innovation Camp & Summit will take place from 18-19 January 2022 in Ras Al Khaimah. The two-day event will include a series of private workshops (Camp) in addition to a public conference (Summit) with a line-up of insightful panel discussions. The aim of the event is to advance innovation for a more sustainable future in the tourism industry. Ras Al Khaimah, the most northerly Emirate, is considered as the fastest growing destination in the Middle East, placing great value on sustainability and innovation by implementing a number of progressive initiatives. For this reason, World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL) entered into a strategic partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) three years ago.

The strategic partnership with RAKTDA allows World Tourism Forum Lucerne to bring several of its industry initiatives, such as the Talent Boost, the Think Tank and the Start-up Innovation Camp & Summit to Ras Al Khaimah. “Innovations are a significant driver in the post-pandemic recovery phase. That’s why our initiatives aim to advance innovations in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector and facilitate a cross-industry dialogue”, explains Martin Barth, President and CEO of WTFL.

Raki Phillips, CEO of RAKTDA, added: “We are honoured to host the International Start-up Innovation Camp & Summit with World Tourism Forum Lucerne. This event comes at a pivotal time as we focus on becoming a regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025. Our culture of innovation, resilience and being a first mover in many areas makes us the perfect destination to foster the growth of start-ups within the Emirate. We look forward to welcoming innovators and investors who will drive positive change in sustainability across the industry.”

Continuous Start-up Screening
Through its continuous screening of start-ups over the years, WTFL has built up a unique start-up network and holds regular national and international Start-up Innovation Camps. Furthermore, with its Dealflow Tool, WTFL has created a digital platform that makes it even easier to connect young talents with the expertise of industry professionals, investors and CEOs. In the tourism industry, it’s innovative business models, agile thinking and strong partnerships form the foundations of tomorrow’s success stories.

International Industry Network
Twelve start-ups were chosen from over 400 applicants and given the unique opportunity to participate in the two-day Start-up Innovation Camp. In addition to receiving personal coaching sessions, the start-ups also have the opportunity to present their business models to the jury, an audience of international guests and interested investors. The best start-ups from the four categories Destination, Hospitality, Mobility and Transaction will also be awarded a cash prize and invited to join World Tourism Forum Lucerne’s start-up network.

Sign up for free today: Be there in person when the industry’s best start-ups present their business models and watch exciting panels Start-up Innovation Summit at DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah on 19th January 2022 from 2pm.

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First published at – Global Travel News

At General Assembly UNWTO Points Tourism towards a Greener Future

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At General Assembly UNWTO Points Tourism towards a Greener Future - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, December 6, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Innovation, youth empowerment and tourism and rural development took centre stage as Spanish Prime Minister Sánchez Pérez-Castejón joined UNWTO for the third day of its General Assembly in Madrid.

With the opening days of the most important meeting in global tourism focused on UNWTO’s response to the impacts of the pandemic and uniting Members behind its leadership and Programme of Work, the third day looked ahead to a more sustainable and inclusive future for the sector. Addressing a special Thematic Session, “Building for the Future: Innovation, Education and Rural Development”, Prime Minister Sánchez recognized the importance of the sector for providing opportunities outside of cities, both in Spain and worldwide, while also reaffirming his Government’s support for UNWTO’s mission.

Also addressing delegates, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “If we are serious about ‘leaving nobody behind’, then we must get serious about innovation, about education and about advancing tourism as a tool for rural development. That means empowering youth, supporting tourism talent, and also giving the best solutions the political and financial support they need to scale up and transform our sector.”

Ministers Advance Shared Vision for Sector

If we are serious about ‘leaving nobody behind’, then we must get serious about innovation, about education and about advancing tourism as a tool for rural development.

The session included a Ministerial Debate on ‘Politics to Foster Tourism for Rural Development’, with insights and inputs from the Ministers of Tourism for Colombia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Paraguay, Slovenia, Tanzania, Spain and Turkey. This was followed by a roundtable on entrepreneurship and innovation in innovation. Representing Members States were Ministers of Tourism from Chile, Greece, Japan, Jordan, Nigeria, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates, while the private sector was represented by winners of the UNWTO Global Rural Tourism Startup Competition. Concluding, a discussion on empowering the tourism leaders of the future, with reference to the UNWTO Students’ League, featured contributions from the Ministers of Tourism for Bulgaria, Lebanon, Maldives and Oman, as well as students themselves.

As well as looking to the future, the General Assembly also celebrated destinations that are already leading the way in making tourism a pillar of rural development and opportunity. From hundreds of entries, 44 villages from 32 countries were named as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO.

Uzbekistan to host 25th General Assembly

In addition to the Thematic Session, the third day of the 24th Session of the UNWTO General Assembly once again saw Members meet to discuss and approve the Programme of Work for the next two years. On the agenda was the UNWTO leadership’s determination to move the Secretariat closer to Member States, as exemplified by the first Regional Office for the Middle East, opened in June this year and ratified by Member States at the General Assembly. Several Members expressed a wish to host future Regional Offices and so serve as hubs for UNWTO’s work in their regions.

Members voted for Uzbekistan to host the 25th UNWTO General Assembly, scheduled to be held in 2023 and agreed to examining plans to create a new taskforce to ‘Redesign Tourism for the Future’. Additionally, Bali in Indonesia was confirmed as host for World Tourism Day 2022, to be held around the timely theme of ‘Rethinking Tourism’, while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were similarly confirmed as the host country for World Tourism Day 2023, to be held around the year of ‘Tourism for Green Investments’.

The General Assembly also fulfilled its obligation with regards to elections, with Member States supporting nominations for new members to serve on the World Committee on Tourism Ethics. Furthermore, 17 countries were confirmed to sit on the UNWTO Executive Council from 2021 to 2025, with Puerto Rico to serve as the representative of Affiliate Members.

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First published at – Global Travel News

UNWTO Members Support Leadership and Back Plan for Tourism’s Future

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UNWTO Members Support Leadership and Back Plan for Tourism’s Future - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, December 2, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Member States of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have strongly aligned themselves behind its leadership and vision for the sector. Coming together for the 24th General Assembly in Madrid, Spain, Members from every global region approved the Organization’s Programme of Work and endorsed key initiatives designed to build a more a resilient, inclusive and sustainable tourism.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

The General Assembly has brought together more than 1,000 delegates from 135 countries, including 84 Ministers of Tourism as well as business leaders, destinations and representatives of key international organizations. Opening the General Assembly, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili cited the spirit of solidarity and determination that has defined tourism’s response to an unprecedented crisis. In presenting his Report to Members, he made clear how a focus on collaboration and harmonization of protocols, political advocacy and securing financial support for tourism, have help the sector mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and laid the foundations for tourism’s restart in many parts of the country.

UN and International Community Backing

We must make the most of this opportunity – to transform goodwill into concrete support

Mr Pololikashvili said: “In every global region, the pandemic has made clear the importance of our sector – for economic growth, for jobs and trade, and for protecting natural and cultural heritage. We must make the most of this opportunity – to transform goodwill into concrete support.”

Emphasizing the significance of the General Assembly, as well as UNWTO’s elevated stature within the global agenda, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed delegates and called for them to work together for a “green, inclusive, sustainable” future. Mr Guterres added: “I commend UNWTO and Secretary-General Pololikashvili and hope the decisions taken at the General Assembly will help restore trust in travel and get the world moving safely do developing economies can reap the benefits of sustainable tourism.”

The United Nations Secretary-Generals words of support were echoed by the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, by Rebeca Greenspan, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), by Juan Carlos Salazar Gómez, Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and by Vice-President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas.

Alongside receiving an updated on UNWTO’s activities since the last General Assembly two years ago, Members also benefited from a comprehensive overview of the latest tourism trends, as indicated by UNWTO’s latest data, as well as an updated overview of restrictions on travel worldwide. From the floor of the Assembly, Members from different global regions expressed their solidarity with countries impacted by the continued imposition of travel restrictions. Also in Madrid, Member States voted in person to approve the UNWTO Executive Council’s nomination of Mr Pololikashvili to serve as Secretary-General for a second term. On the back of the strongly favorable vote, Mr Pololikashvili will lead UNWTO from 2022 to 2025.

UNWTO Again Welcomes Royal Approval

On the eve of the General Assembly, His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain praised UNWTO’s “outstanding work” leading global tourism, most notably over the past 18 months during the worst crisis in the sector’s history. At a special Royal Gala Dinner, His Majesty also emphasized the importance of tourism for economies and societies, both in Spain and globally, making the sector’s recovery essential for many millions of people.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

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First published at – Global Travel News

UNWTO General Assembly Underway in Madrid

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UNWTO General Assembly Underway in Madrid - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, December 1, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Tourism leaders from every global region have arrived in Madrid for the 24th Session of the UNWTO General Assembly. Ministers of Tourism will be joined by representatives of international organizations and from across the private sector for the first truly global tourism meeting to be held since the start of the pandemic, with innovation, education and investments high on the agenda.

In all, more than 1,000 participants, representing 135 countries and including 84 Ministers and Vice-Ministers of Tourism will attend the most important meeting of the United Nations specialized agency for tourism.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Guided by UNWTO, global tourism is facing up to the challenges of today while looking to the opportunities of tomorrow. The UNWTO General Assembly shows the sector’s determination to restart, lead recovery and be a central pillar of sustainable development and climate action.”

Towards an International Code for the Protection of Tourists

The UNWTO General Assembly shows the sector’s determination to restart, lead recovery and be a central pillar of sustainable development and climate action

UNWTO opened the General Assembly with an Induction Session for the International Code for the Protection of Tourists. Launched in response to the drop in consumer confidence caused by the pandemic, the landmark legal code will provide minimum standards and consumer rights for tourists in emergency situations. It was developed in collaboration with 98 Member States and Associate Members as well as 5 non-member States international organizations and leading private sector stakeholders. Once adopted by the UNWTO General Assembly, the Code will be presented to the United Nations General Assembly in 2022 with the aim of making it a Resolution.

Affiliate Members Meet to Reform and Restart

Held within the framework of the General Assembly, UNWTO’s Affiliate Members met today for their 43rd annual Plenary Session. Made up of businesses and destinations, as well as representatives from civil society and academic, UNWTO counts on more than 500 Affiliates to transform tourism policy into action. In Madrid, participants were given an overview of UNWTO’s crisis response, with the Destination Tracker developed by in partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) presented as an example of effective public-private partnerships. At the same time, delegates approved the proposed Reform of the Legal Framework for UNWTO Affiliate Membership, paving the way for more effective collaboration

Executive Council Endorses Key Initiatives

Ahead of the official opening of the General Assembly, UNWTO convened its Executive Council for a 114th session. The Council, which serves as the governing board of UNWTO, met to hear Secretary-General Pololikashvili present his report on the work done since the 113th session, also held in Madrid at the start of the year. The Members of the Executive Council agreed to the iimplementation of the General Programme of Work for 2020-2021 and for 2022-2023. Members also endorsed several key UNWTO initiatives, notably the UNWTO Recommendations on Tourism for Rural Development, the Best Tourism Villages project and the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative.

Also meeting in Madrid, the UNWTO Committees on Tourism and Sustainability, on Tourism and Competitiveness and on Tourism Online Education, brought together experts to explore ways to advance the Organization’s Programme of work around key priority areas.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Moving Forward Innovation Festival in Andermatt Points to Future for Tourism

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Moving Forward Innovation Festival in Andermatt Points to Future for Tourism - - TRAVELINDEXAndermatt, Switzerland, November 17, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / While the travel and tourism sector is gradually picking up speed again, the stakeholders in this business are keen to use its current momentum to examine the sector critically; they want to think afresh about tourism and thus make it fit for the future. At the international World Tourism Forum Lucerne conference, top-level guests investigated the challenges currently facing the tourism industry and shone a light on new perspectives for the future. If this business sector is to stay successful, it must integrate its operations across a broad front and address the five key themes actively.

The travel industry came to a halt very abruptly, but it is now slowly recovering, presenting us with a chance to ask ourselves some long-overdue questions: do destinations really want to go back to overtourism? To overcrowded beaches and long queues waiting for popular attractions? To “insider tip-offs” that soon become Instagram hotspots and then lose their magic? Wouldn’t it be better to replace the “back to normal” slogan with the aim of “moving forward” – to take this opportunity by the scruff of its neck so that we can make up for lost time and correct the mistakes of the past?

  • Martin Barth, President & CEO of World Tourism Forum Lucerne: “We must look forward and find our opportunities in the crisis. How we deal with the challenges we face today will determine how successful we are in the future.”
  • Niall Ferguson, historian & bestseller author: “Compared to past pandemics, the current one is not quite as dramatic if we are looking at the number of deaths. However, the economic costs of the ongoing pandemic are significantly higher because working from home is a new phenomenon that led to a substantial economic crisis.”
  • Peter Fankhauser, Director PETRAF & Ex-CEO Thomas Cook: “You need the best people who are fitting perfectly to your culture, your value system, your team and to yourself. Do not underestimate the emotional factor and take care of those connections because that is what you are holding on to when you’re falling.”

Progress depends on a transfer of knowledge plus new and creative ideas; this will allow everyone to contribute their own specific talents and create networks for themselves – regardless of mental or physical impairments, gender, ethnicity or level of education. We must get rid of the prevailing stereotypes and embrace a more progressive understanding of organisational culture. All this calls for new, smart partnerships, joint initiatives and plans of action.

  • Aradhana Kowhala, CEO & Founder Aptamind Partners: “Despite increased awareness of gender imbalance, the number of women in the C-Suite and on boards hasn’t moved. We keep inching our way expecting breakthroughs but now it is time pair bold thinking with big commit­ments – show visible commitment and seek solutions that deliver exponential gains.”
  • Ulrich Bensel, Chief Human Resources Officer Deutsche Hospitality: “In the hospitality industry, we have left the composition of our workforce to chance until now. The goal must be for us to take a more structured approach to diversity within the company and consciously shape it with new tools. This will have a positive impact on performance.”

If we want to treat the natural wonders and mountain idylls advertised in our catalogues properly in future, we will have to put a higher priority once again on protecting the landscape than on maximising profit. We need clear sustainability strategies so that we can restore a healthy balance between People, Planet and Profit. As well as the financial and social aspect, we also need to think about “natural capital”. For example, our world is now more in need of new sustainability projects than hotel complexes.

  • Shannon Ghuian, Chief TreadRight & Sustainability Officer at TTC: “The very reason why we travel is at risk because we have taken it for granted. But the indication of behavioural change is twofold: We want to motivate people to come along with us on our biodiversity journey, yet we sell them holidays. We need to encourage them to take sustainability issues into consideration.”
  • Reto Ringger, Founder & CEO Globalance Bank: “Most people are confused and ask themselves whether their money and investments are part of the problem or part of the solution. What makes me optimistic is the next generation. With their small businesses and their willingness to use new technologies they are part of the solution.”

If the next generation gets a place at the table, we can complement our existing knowledge with new ways of thinking. Talented newcomers, young professionals and start-ups are increasingly laying claim to such places. They all think quickly and like to try out new ideas, and they can keep pace with the digitalised world. They are agile and they adapt to changing circumstances in the modern world – and they are the leading figures of the future. By promoting these people, we can join forces to prepare the tourism industry to face the future – and that will benefit us all. The WTFL has integrated three new universities into its partnership network in order to develop its talent promotion activities still further; it has also entered into a strategic cooperation project with GTTP (Global Travel & Tourism Partnership), which works vigorously to support new entrants into the tourism industry workforce in more than 16 countries. It also ensures that the sector becomes more attractive for the next generation.

  • Anne Lotter, Executive Director GTTP: “The collaboration with WTFL is warmly welcomed by the Global Travel & Tourism Partnership (GTTP). We will benefit at an organizational level from WTFL’s stakeholders, including contact with industry, education, and governments. For our younger generation of travel and tourism students the Innovation Festival is hugely inspiring. They get the opportunity to witness the next steps to take in their career and hear from top professionals as well.”

The tourism sector is often examined in isolation, but it is actually part of an economic, social and political system. Therefore, the tourism sector must integrate itself broadly into networks, look beyond its own boundaries and take advantage of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, which could create personalised travel experiences in real time, for example. These creative, innovative and disruptive business models are already available, as the World Tourism Forum Lucerne’s continuous Start-Up Screening has shown us. In order to promote this trend even more, the Forum brings highly successful sector experts, investors and young talents together at its Start-Up Innovation Camps around the world. The only way we can correct our course, set up the sector so that it can meet the needs of the future and play a leading role on innovation is if we work together.

  • Koen Deryckere, Lead Industry Networks and Programs at Accenture: “More and more companies are moving into other industries to provide end-to-end propositions. As a result, industry lines are blurring, and today’s technologies are the main driver and enabler for that.”
  • Stephanie Nägeli, Executive Board SV Group: “Revenues are sinking, but you have to continue to innovate. We need to ask ourselves: What are the opportunities in the crisis and how can we take these to accelerate disruption and to become more innovative.”

Like others, the international participants in the Think Tank also grappled with the major problems and current challenges facing the industry. They see the greatest potential for optimisation in three key areas for success in the tourism industry of the future: Health & Wellbeing, Climate & Sustainability and Social Equality & Diversity.

  • Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director Twenty14Holdings: “The WTFL is a much-needed event in these challenging times to bring together the entire travel and tourism fraternity to deliberate on the sector’s quick recovery, and shape constructive dialogue around the evolving face of tourism through sustainable, inclusive and connected experiences. The ongoing pandemic has caused several shocks to the travel supply chain, and it is important for new ideas to emerge and take concrete shape through adequate industry support, for the sector to contribute to livelihood creation and socio-economic development worldwide.”

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First published at – Global Travel News

Travel Foundation Formalises Relationship with Tourism Declares to Catalyse Climate Action

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Travel Foundation Formalises Relationship with Tourism Declares to Catalyse Climate Action - TRAVELINDEXGlasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, November 4, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / At the COP26 Climate Summit this week, Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, an initiative to support climate action, will announce it has become the flagship climate programme of the Travel Foundation. In addition, the Travel Foundation will unveil its unique role in providing ongoing support for the newly launched “Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism”, working in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations.

Both announcements place the Travel Foundation, a leading tourism NGO, at the forefront of efforts to ensure tourism businesses and destinations can rapidly decarbonise, adapt to climate change and support ecosystem regeneration. The Travel Foundation and UNWTO are now pursuing high-impact partnerships to accelerate the aims of the Tourism Declares initiative and the ambitions of the Glasgow Declaration at the scale needed to meet global climate goals.

The launch of the Glasgow Declaration at COP26 on 4 November marks a significant milestone for climate action in tourism. Both Tourism Declares and the Travel Foundation were members of the five-party Drafting Committee for the Declaration – a global commitment for all organisations in travel and tourism to cut sector emissions in half by 2030, to align climate action plans across five “pathways”, and to report publicly on progress made.

All organisations in travel and tourism are encouraged to support the Declaration, and Tourism Declares’ role will be to advocate for, and catalyse, accelerated climate action with an emphasis on climate equity and resilience, and the needs of destination communities.

By bringing Tourism Declares within its organisation and partnering with UNWTO to steward the Glasgow Declaration initiative forward, the Travel Foundation cements its leading role as a go-to organisation for climate action in tourism. It will initiate a programme of activities focused on activities such as:

– Publishing an annual progress report for the Glasgow Declaration, providing analysis on who has signed the Declaration, and how they are advancing with their commitments.
– Developing consistent, sector-wide approaches to carbon measurement and reporting.
– Road-testing new ways to tackle the complex, shared responsibilities under ‘scope 3’ (value chain) emissions, which largely occur within destinations.
– Strengthening collaboration and community – for instance through the Tourism Declares online community and volunteer network, and the planned formation of regional hubs.
– Building the capacity of Glasgow Declaration signatories, and scaling the necessary knowledge, tools, and inspiration needed for sector-wide change

The Travel Foundation will also lead the coordination of an Advisory Committee for the Glasgow Declaration that will convene within the framework of the UN’s One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme to ensure that diversity, equity and climate science are at the heart of this initiative. The climate reporting process linked to the Glasgow Declaration will also be managed through the One Planet Network.

Jeremy Smith, co-founder of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, said:
“The Glasgow Declaration isn’t just a pledge – it is a commitment to take action to halve tourism’s emissions by 2030, and to report on progress made each year. It’s vital we start with the right ambition, but then the hard work really begins. Being part of the Travel Foundation allows us to take our efforts to the next level for global impact.”

Jeremy Sampson, CEO of the Travel Foundation, said:
“We know we must collaborate and scale-up like never before, connecting both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches by galvanising community action and creating levers for change across governments and corporations. Tourism’s transition to climate positive is also about tourism’s transformation more generally, shifting to a more equitable model that balances the needs of residents and businesses while managing and reducing its burden on destinations.”

The Travel Foundation and Tourism Declares will be participating in an official COP26 online event to mark the launch of the Glasgow Declaration, on Thursday 4 November at 14:00 – 1600 GMT alongside partners VisitScotland, NECSTouR and the Future of Tourism Coalition. You can register to join and take part in the discussion at

About the Travel Foundation
The Travel Foundation is a leading global NGO that works in partnership with governments, businesses, and communities to develop and manage tourism in a way that maximises the benefits for communities and the environment. Founded in 2003, it has since worked in nearly 30 countries around the world.

About Tourism Declares
Launched in January 2020, Tourism Declares a global community of nearly 400 tourism organisations, companies and professionals, all committed to delivering a Climate Action Plan aligned with the need to cut emissions in half by 2030.

About the Glasgow Declaration
The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism will be launched on 4 November at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow. The drafting committee composed of representatives from UNWTO, UNEP, Tourism Declares, the Travel Foundation and VisitScotland with wider consultation.

About the COP26 event
On the occasion of the COP26 Climate Summit and the launch of the “Glasgow Declaration”, VisitScotland, Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, NECSTouR and The Future of Tourism Coalition are hosting an interactive, online event exploring the actions and enablers needed to achieve Net Zero in tourism. The event will take place on Thursday 4 November from 2.00pm – 4.00pm GMT.

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First published at – Global Travel News

UNWTO Highlights Gastronomy Tourism as Driver of Rural Development

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UNWTO Highlights Gastronomy Tourism as Driver of Rural Development

Bruges, Flanders, Belgium, November 3, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Some of the world’s top chefs joined restaurateurs and local and regional leaders to advance gastronomy tourism as a driver of rural development and opportunity.

The 6th edition of the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, held in Bruges, Flanders (Belgium, 31 October to 2 November), focused on the sector’s unique ability to support rural businesses, create jobs and protect and promote culture and heritage. For the first time, the Forum, organized by UNWTO and the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) included a special session dedicated to African Gastronomy, recognizing its potential as a tool of socio-economic development and for helping destinations across the continent enhance their distinct branding and market themselves to new audiences. The session concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between UNWTO and Chefs in Africa.

Gastronomy tourism adds vitality to rural communities, supports small, local food producers and strengthens their position in the market

Opening the Forum, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Gastronomy tourism adds vitality to rural communities, supports small, local food producers and strengthens their position in the market contributing to add value to the tourism experience while promoting the preservation and development of local produce and know how.”

Joxe Mari Aizega, General Manager of the Basque Culinary Center, said: “Gastronomy tourism offers a unique opportunity to promote economic growth of rural communities. It is a way of involving the various agents of the gastronomy value chain, and promoting economic and social development from farm to table.”

Flemish Minister Matthias Diependaele said : “With the gastronomy and tourism sectors at a turning point, we believe it is necessary to move towards gastronomy tourism with added value for our destinations, our residents, our local entrepreneurs as well as the visitors. We are happy to have come together with leaders from all over the world to exchange experiences and get inspired to poise the way towards a sustainable future for the gastronomy tourism sector.”

The Mayor of Bruges Dirk De fauw added : “I am very honoured that our city was chosen to be the host city for this important congress on tourism gastronomy.  Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Bruges opted for a sustainable tourism story in which we explicitly opt for ‘better’ rather than for ‘more’. A positive and sustainable story which we write together with our visitors, residents and entrepreneurs.”

To ensure that gastronomy tourism can grow as a driver of rural development, participants recognized the need to strengthen coordination between tourism, agricultural and rural development policies at the global, national, and local levels. Alongside this, the forum also focused on best ways of designing gastronomy tourism strategies and practices that ensure the sustainable use of resources, the promotion of local products and know-how, and on responsible consumption.

Also in Bruges, UNWTO showcased the talented entrepreneurs who are rising to the challenges posed by the Sustainable Development Goals through innovation along the gastronomy tourism value chain. Selected startups focused on taking climate action, reducing waste, creating sustainable communities, protecting ecosystems, amongst others, pitched their ideas to the Forum’s participants.  The startups included Faroo (Italy), Rutopia (Mexico), Apadrina un Olivo (Spain), Katla Aero (Sweden) and KITRO (Switzerland).

The next edition of the Forum will be held in Nara, Japan in 2022.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Sustainable First Signs Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism as Launch Partner

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Sustainable First Signs Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism as Launch PartnerLondon, United Kingdom, November 2, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Sustainable First announced today that it has become a signatory and launch partner of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.

The Declaration unites travel and tourism behind a common set of pathways for climate action, aligning the sector with global commitments and catalysing collaborative solutions to the many challenges facing businesses and destinations globally.

The Glasgow Declaration will be officially launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) on the 4th of November 2021 and encourages the acceleration of climate action in tourism by securing commitments to reduce emissions in tourism by at least 50% over the next decade, and achieve Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.

“The time for climate action is now and everyone in the industry has an important role to play. We work closely with the brilliant UNWTO and UNEP team that lead the One Planet Network programme and are thrilled to be launch partners of this important initiative.

The message is clear, we need a unified approach from the sector in order to accelerate climate action and therefore we extend the invitation to every tourism Business, Destination or Supporting Organisation to join us signing the Declaration and be a part of the solution.” said Mafalda Borea, CEO of Sustainable First.

The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism brings together the latest research and global expertise to galvanise climate action. It will be hosted within the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme’s website, supported by Recommended Actions for tourism stakeholders across the world to consider as part of their action planning, alongside other resources. As the declaration states: “A just transition to Net Zero before 2050 will only be possible if tourism’s recovery accelerates the adoption of sustainable consumption and production, and redefines our future success to consider not only economic value but rather the regeneration of ecosystems, biodiversity and communities.”

The need for a globally consistent approach for climate action in tourism has been made clear, notably through research into CO2 emissions carried out by UNWTO/ITF  and released at the UNFCCC COP25 in December 2019. This showed that transport-related emissions from tourism were forecast to increase by 25% by 2030 from 2016 levels, against the current ambition scenario. One  Planet  Vision  for  a  responsible  recovery  of  the  tourism  sector

In  2020, the One Planet Vision for a Responsible Recovery of the Tourism Sector  was  adopted  with  the aim  of  emerging  from  the  COVID-19 crisis both  stronger  and  more  sustainable.  Climate  action  is  a  central element  of  the  Vision,  which  calls  for  monitoring  and  reporting  CO2  emissions  from  tourism,  promoting the introduction of science-based targets, accelerating the decarbonisation of tourism operations, and engaging the tourism sector in carbon removal.

About  Sustainable First
Sustainable First is a sustainable tourism platform that features truly sustainable tourism destinations, accommodations & businesses and links the impact their initiatives have in their local communities to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals they are working towards.

Sustainable First inspires actions and strategies for moving towards a more sustainable pattern of development in tourism providing prosperity and opportunities for all. #BeSustainableFirst

About  the  One  Planet  Network  Sustainable  Tourism Programme
The  One  Planet  Sustainable  Tourism Programme  has  the  overall  objective  to  enhance  the  sustainable development impacts of the tourism sector by 2030,  by  developing,  promoting  and  scaling  up  sustainable consumption  and  production practices  that  boost  the  efficient  use  of natural  resources  while  producing less  waste  and  addressing  the  challenges  of  climate  change,  loss  of  biodiversity  and  pollution.  The Sustainable  Tourism  Programme  is  part  of  the  One  Planet  network,  a  multi-stakeholder  partnership  to implement  SDG  12  on Sustainable  Consumption and  Production.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News