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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.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

UNWTO and Council of Europe to Promote Cultural Routes

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UNWTO and Council of Europe to Promote Cultural Routes - TRAVELINDEXBrussels, Belgium, November 26, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Council of Europe will work together to develop the opportunities tourism offers to local communities and to enhance the tourist experience along the European region’s Cultural Routes.

The joint actions will be aimed at recognizing the added value that cultural routes offer for sustainable tourism development, cultural heritage safeguarding and intercultural dialogue. The collaboration will also further highlight the routes’ potential for advancing social, economic and cultural development, benefitting both Europe and its partner countries by strengthening cultural and historical ties.

All along the Cultural Routes, tourism has the power to support jobs and create other development opportunities for communities

International Year of Creative Economy 2021

The two organizations will be collaborating first in the sphere of creative tourism, to showcase good practices in line with the International Year of Creative Economy 2021, and further promote destinations encompassed by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) of the Council of Europe.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “All along the Cultural Routes, tourism has the power to support jobs and create other development opportunities for communities. It is also a chance to protect and promote cultural heritage and to celebrate creativity.”

Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić adds: “The Cultural Routes programme plays an important role in the promotion of Europe’s rich cultural heritage, in addition to being an effective tool for fostering intercultural dialogue and transnational co-operation.

We are delighted that the UN’s World Tourism Organisation will contribute its expertise to the Cultural Routes programme on the basis of this Memorandum of Understanding.”

Enhancing accessibility

The partnership will also see UNWTO and the Council of Europe harness their individual expertise and technical capabilities to further develop Cultural Routes, through research, training and policymaking. Special attention will be paid to the mapping of Cultural Routes and to promoting greater accessibility for persons with disabilities and specific access requirements.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

First Regional Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Women’s Empowerment

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First Regional Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Women’s Empowerment

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 24, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO’s Members from across Asia and the Pacific came together to advance the tourism sector’s contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The UNWTO Regional Conference on the Empowerment of Women in Tourism in Asia and the Pacific – the first event on the topic organized by UNWTO jointly with Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture – brought together more than 500 key virtual participants in addition to around 100 local in-person stakeholders. Alongside UNWTO experts, government policymakers, UN Women representatives, high-level representatives of women’s associations and NGOs, joined leading academics to address some of the key challenges and opportunities for women in tourism in the region.

In Asia and the Pacific, women make up 53% of the tourism workforce. However, they remain concentrated in lower paid-positions and tens to have poorer working conditions. As in other regions of the world, high-level and leadership positions seem to be the sole prerogative of men. The aim of this conference was to contribute to international efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5) on gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in light of how the pandemic has worsened the socio-economic situation of the female tourism workforce in the region.

In her welcome and opening remarks, H.E. Dato’ Sri Nancy Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia reinforced this main objective of the conference and said  “As part of efforts to advance a more inclusive recovery for the tourism sector which is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and particularly SDG 5 on gender equality, I believe this conference will provide us with deep insights on strategies and the future prospects for women in tourism in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The discussions of the conference focused on the six thematic pillars of UNWTO’s Action Plan on Women in Tourism. These include women’s employment and leadership; entrepreneurship; education and training for the realities of post-COVID19 tourism; and data and statistics for an inclusive recovery. Based on these thematic areas, the conference explored how tourism’s immense potential for advancing women’s economic empowerment can be further enhanced through the implementation of the right recovery policies and strategies.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

UNWTO Looks to Future with EU Tourism Ministers

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UNWTO Looks to Future with EU Tourism Ministers

Ljubljana, Slovenia, November 20, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The UNWTO leadership has addressed an informal meeting of EU Ministers Responsible for Tourism, further strengthening ties with the European Institutions.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

The Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union included tourism on its programme of work, recognizing the sector’s heightened relevance and importance for inclusive, post-pandemic recovery. Addressing the Ministers, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili commended European leaders for protecting tourism jobs and businesses, and for playing a leading role in restoring confidence in international travel through harmonized rules and protocols and the introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

At the same time, the Secretary-General also provided the EU Ministers with an overview of UNWTO’s own work leading the sector’s response to the crisis, as well as more recent achievements advancing tourism’s climate action. Margaritis Schinas, Vice President of the European Commission, played an active role in the UNWTO Global Tourism Crisis Committee, created to unite the sector and provide clear, harmonized recommendations for recovery, and has also visited the UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid for face-to-face talks with the Secretary-General.

Strengthening ties

This latest intervention further strengthens the ties between UNWTO and the European Institutions, building on the work done prior to the pandemic. In February 2020, the UNWTO leadership visited Brussels. As well as addressing the European Parliament, Secretary-General Pololikashvili also met with Ministers and Secretaries of State for tourism of European Countries, making clear the role the sector can play in driving inclusive growth across the region and in advancing the ambitions of the European Green Deal. More recently, the UNWTO leadership returned to Brussels in October, with a more in-depth agenda focusing on tourism’s place in recovery and future growth for European economies and societies.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Following on from the informal meeting of EU Ministers Responsible for Tourism, UNWTO also took part in the 20th European Tourism Forum, also held against the backdrop of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Europe’s Tourism Ministers will then be part of the upcoming UNWTO General Assembly, scheduled to take place in Madrid, Spain, 30 November to 3 December.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

Putting Women’s Empowerment Centre Stage in Tourism’s Recovery

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Putting Women’s Empowerment Centre Stage in Tourism’s Recovery

Madrid, Spain, November 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has launched the ‘Centre Stage’ project, with the support of German Federal Ministry for Economic Development (BMZ), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and UN Women.

Over the course of one year, from November 2021 – November 2022, the project will support the tourism sector in placing women’s empowerment and gender equality at the heart of recovery plans following the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will be piloted in four participating Member States in collaboration with the National Tourism Administrations of Jordan (MOTA), Costa Rica (ICT), the Dominican Republic (MITUR) and Mexico (SECTUR).

The impact of COVID-19 on women in tourism

Women make up more than half of the tourism workforce at a global level (54%), according to the Global Report on Women in Tourism, Second Edition. However, women are often concentrated in low-skilled or informal work and have fewer opportunities for education and career development. As a result, women in the sector have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, with less access to social protections and a reduced capacity to absorb the economic shock caused by the pandemic.

Nevertheless, the tourism sector has historically provided women with opportunities for empowerment, offering many a livelihood and source of autonomy. For this reason, UNWTO has identified the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to address the gender inequality in the sector.

Concrete measures towards gender equality

Under the ‘Centre Stage’ project, the participating National Tourism Administrations and tourism businesses will implement a one-year action plan containing a series of concrete measures designed to increase opportunities for women’s empowerment. They will be supported by local NGOs, professional organizations and be accompanied by UNWTO through a series of virtual and in-person training opportunities.

The measures included in the Action Plans span the 6 areas of work considered key for gender equality and women’s empowerment in tourism: Employment; Entrepreneurship; Education and training; Leadership, policy and decision making; Community and civil society; Measurement for better policies. The measures have been targeted to the needs identified in the four pilot countries and look to address the specific challenges women face in each.

A total of 10 tourism businesses and 4 NGOs/community organizations will join the participating National Tourism Administrations to implement the measures. UNWTO recently organized two informative webinars for participants from Jordan as well as Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

The activities of ‘Centre Stage’ will get underway in November 2021 and include training sessions with a gender focus, personalized guidance aiming to improve working conditions for women in the sector and producing data on the effects of the pandemic on female employment in tourism.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

UNWTO and Instagram Partner to Help Destinations Recover and Rediscover

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UNWTO and Instagram Partner to Help Destinations Recover and Rediscover - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, November 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO and Instagram have joined forces to produce a ‘Tourism Recovery Playbook’, and so help destinations and business harness the power of digital and visual storytelling to reach new audiences and return to growth.

This first ever partnership with Instagram forms part of UNWTO’s wider shift towards harnessing the power of digital innovation to drive the restart of tourism, especially local and sustainable tourism. It also represents Instagram’s recognition of tourism as a leading provider of livelihoods and global opportunity, welcoming UNWTO as partners in a first structured effort to use the platform as a tool to help kickstart the sector’s recovery. The partnership was announced against the backdrop of World Travel Market in London, the leading tourism trade fair where UNWTO brings together political and business leaders, and after of UNWTO amplifying tourism’s unified response to the climate emergency at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Expert insights into storytelling for tourism

UNWTO’s partnership with Instagram will show that safe, responsible travel is possible, and to illustrate how just one tourist can make a big difference

The Recovery Playbook provides insights into making the most of the platform, from producing Reels to showcase destinations to using Guides and other tools to illustrate how the sector is ready to welcome tourists back safely and responsibly. It also explores the best ways to encourage renewed local travel, while raising environmental awareness. Alongside best practice and tips on effective tourism storytelling, the publication also features case studies of small businesses and destinations have successfully used Instagram to connect with key audiences during the pandemic.

In his foreword to the Tourism Recovery Playbook, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “As parts of the world begin cautiously opening up again, now is the time to be creative in showing why tourism matters – for individuals, for our communities and for our planet. UNWTO’s partnership with Instagram will show that safe, responsible travel is possible, and to illustrate how just one tourist can make a big difference.”

“We know countless small businesses and destinations are ready to welcome the world back to their doorsteps,” said Asya Kislyuk, Policy Programs Manager at Instagram. “Instagram is proud to provide a playbook for people to help make it happen when the time is right – safely
and sustainably.”

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Advancing UNWTO’s digital shift

This first collaboration with Instagram builds on UNWTO’s ongoing turn towards greater use of digital tools and visual storytelling to make clear the relevance and importance of tourism to economies, societies, and planet. The Organization has accelerated this shift in its efforts to scale up Member support and enable them to better seize the advantages of digital communications platforms.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

UNWTO Secretary-General, Climate Emergency is Bigger Threat than Covid’

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UNWTO Secretary-General, Climate Emergency is Bigger Threat than Covid - TRAVELINDEXGlasgow, Scotland, UK, November 5, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The head of the United Nations World Tourism Organization has warned that the “climate emergency is a bigger threat than Covid”.

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of UNWTO, said the pandemic has hit tourism harder than any other sector. Tourism needs support from governments, through stronger public-private partnerships and through more and better-targeted financing investments, to rebuild in a sustainable and inclusive way.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

He made his comments during the UNWTO, WTTC & WTM Ministers’ Summit, held on the second day of WTM London, with tourism ministers from across the world discussing investing in tourism’s sustainable future.

“This summit gives us the chance to strengthen our advocacy on sustainability”, Pololikashvili said.

He told delegates that the recent Rome Leaders Declaration issued by the G20 specifically emphasized the need to restore travel and tourism, which in turn can help developing economies.

He said public investment will “encourage and leverage” private investment all over the world, adding: “Tourism can benefit if governments deliver the right support.

This summit gives us the chance to strengthen our advocacy on sustainability

“Going back to the old normal is not an option.”

He also said tourism represents a risk-free investment opportunity and highlighted the need to invest in education and youth on the way to net zero.

The UNWTO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and other tourism and travel stakeholders will officially launch the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26  on Thursday (4 November).

The WTTC is also planning to launch the Net Zero Roadmap for Travel & Tourism, to support the industry in combatting climate change, as part of the sector’s drive towards net zero by 2050.

The initiative is being run in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and professional services and consulting experts Accenture.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, told the summit: “We have no alternative; we have to go green.”

She said sustainable growth is a key priority for the WTTC, adding: “Investors and the public demand that we invest to protect the planet and people.

“We need to invest in making sure destinations are great places to live and not just great places to visit.”

Nigel Huddleston MP, UK Tourism Minister, agreed, saying: “The partnership between private and public sectors is spurred by the consumer.”

He said his government can offer tax incentives to encourage sustainable developments, such as deductions for solar power and electric vehicle charging points.

Rita Marques, Secretary of State for Tourism of Portugal, outlined how her country is investing in green services and new ways to develop tourism across the seasons.

Massimo Garavaglia,the Italian Minister for Tourism, talked about how Italy is tackling overtourism in places such as Venice and Florence, to encourage visitors to explore other parts of Italy and its varied attractions.

Dr Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt – which will host the Cop27 climate conference next year – highlighted Egyptian sustainable initiatives, such as a project to protect the reefs of the Red Sea.

Memunatu Pratt, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Sierra Leone, talked about how tourism in the west African country is recovering from civil war and the outbreaks of ebola and Covid-19.

She said investments in infrastructure, transport, health care and education were being integrated with the need to develop sustainable tourism.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Federico González, Chief Executive at Radisson Hotel Group, highlighted the need to ensure smaller hotel owners understand how they make their properties more sustainable, and David Lavorel, Chief Executive of airport technology firm SITA, outlined how technology can help the aviation sector optimise its current assets to be more environmentally friendly.

UNWTO will also partner with Arabian Travel Market – the sister event of WTM London – which will take place on 8-11 May in Dubai.

First published at – Global Travel News

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

From G20 to COP26 UNWTO Through Critical Week

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From G20 to COP26 UNWTO Through Critical Week - TRAVELINDEXGlasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, November 2, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / At the start of a crucial week for global governance, tourism’s relevance will be part of the discussions at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), just as it was in Rome when G20 leaders met to coordinate plans for sustainable and inclusive recovery.

In Italy, UNWTO succeeded in placing tourism’s importance in the spotlight. The leaders of some of the world’s biggest economies endorsed the G20 Rome Guidelines for the Future of Tourism, committing themselves to taking action to fulfil its objectives, particularly to accelerate the return of safe and seamless travel and the digital transformation of the sector.

The G20 represent 70% of world tourism and are in a natural position to lead tourism’s recovery

The G20 Rome Leaders’ Declaration states: “We will continue to support a rapid, resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery of the tourism sector”, with a special emphasis on “safe mobility and seamless travel and sustainability and digitalization.” Concluding the G20 leaders called on their Ministers of Tourism to build on exiting collaboration with UNWTO and other international organizations.

From Rome to London

“The G20 represent 70% of world tourism and are in a natural position to lead tourism’s recovery”, UNWTO Secretary-General said. Mr Pololikashvili stressed the need for “coordination, strong actions, political and financial support for tourism’s transition to greater inclusivity and sustainability, which we will be addressing tomorrow at our Minsters’ Summit during World Travel Market in London.”

‘Investing in Tourism’s Sustainable Future’ is the theme for this year’s Ministers’ Summit on 2 November, organized by UNWTO, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and WTM, gathering over 20 tourism ministers leading private sector operators. In London, UNWTO will make clear that tourism will only be able to recover and meet its climate action commitments if it is given the proper political and financial backing.

With the importance of funding and investments made clear, and with the G20 Tourism Ministers also having welcomed the Recommendations for the Transition to a Green Travel and Tourism Economy, developed by UNWTO and the G20 Tourism Working Group, the focus will then shift to Glasgow later this week. UNWTO will play an active role in climate action discussions and will launch the Glasgow Declaration, a commitment to accelerating the sector’s shift to net-zero. The Declaration already counts on more than 150 signatories from every part of the sector and of every size.

Tourism’s voice at COP26

Tourism is now an established part of the UN agenda, recognized for its ability to contribute to all the Sustainable Development Goals. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UNWTO will be bridging the gap between governments and the private sector to ensure tourism lives up to its climate action responsibilities.

Leading the main tourism related event at COP26, UNWTO has gathered hundreds of private sector operators from across the world to commit to the Glasgow Declaration.  Spearheaded by UNWTO, this Declaration is aimed at aligning the diverse tourism sector behind a single, overarching goal of halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050 at the latest. The Declaration is to be implemented in collaboration with the Travel Foundation and within the framework of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News