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Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Confirmed as New Chairperson of World Committee on Tourism Ethics

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Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Confirmed as New Chairperson of World Committee on Tourism Ethics - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, December 20, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the former Executive Director of UN Women, has been confirmed as the new Chairperson of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics.

The 24th Session of the UNWTO General Assembly, which met in Madrid (30 Novemer-3 December) unanimously approved Dr.  Mlambo-Ngcuka’s nomination for the position. She will serve as Chair for four years, starting on 3 December 2021, taking over from Pascal Lamy, former Director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and President Emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

“It is with great honour that I accept this appointment and I will, together with the members of the Ethics Committee, work hard to provide a fair guidance towards more ethical practices in the tourism sector.” said Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka.

With her rich background and experience of leadership, Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka will ensure that the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics continue to serve as a compass directing us towards a fairer and more inclusive tourism sector

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili added: “With her rich background and experience of leadership, Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka will ensure that the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics continue to serve as a compass directing us towards a fairer and more inclusive tourism sector.”

New Committee Members Confirmed

The World Committee on Tourism Ethics is the independent body responsible for interpreting, applying and evaluating the provisions of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. The Committee’s tasks include the promotion and dissemination of the Code as well as the evaluation and monitoring of its implementation. Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka brings to the role significant experience working in the fields of human rights, equality and social justice, most notably serving as an Undersecretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women for two terms.

The 24th UNWTO General Assembly also approved the appointment of the following as Committee Members: Ms. Mayada Belal (Undersecretary for the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for Cultural Cooperation), Mr. José Ignacio Besga Zuazola (President of the Basque Country Ethics Cluster), Ms. Susan Longley (General Secretary of the International Union of Food, Agriculture, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Associations (IUF), Ms. Daniela Otero (Chief Executive Officer of Skal International).

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Ms. Gunnur Diker (Partner and General Manager of Eurasia Tourism Ltd.), Mr. Shahid Hamid Fih (Chairman & Founder of SH’otel Hospitality Management & Consultancy Ltd) and Prof. Marina Novelli (Professor of Tourism and International Development at the University of Brighton) were also appointed as alternate members of the Committee.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

24th UNWTO General Assembly: Tourism United, Resilient and Determined

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24th UNWTO General Assembly: Tourism United, Resilient and Determined

Madrid, Spain, December 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Over the course of three days, the 24th session of the UNWTO General Assembly underscored global tourism’s commitment to restarting around the shared pillars of sustainability, innovation and solidarity.

Representatives of 131 UNWTO Member States, including 59 Ministers and Vice-Ministers of Tourism, attended the Assembly in the Spanish capital, Madrid (30 November – 3 December). Alongside the participation of Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Ms. Reyes Maroto, the political support to UNWTO from the Spanish government was underlined with the presence of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, and Minister of Foreign Affairs José Manuel Albares. On the eve of the General Assembly, the King of Spain Felipe VI expressed his recognition of tourism’s socio-economic relevance and appreciation of the role of UNWTO.

Unprecedented reach and recognition

UNWTO presented its accomplishments over the past two years since the last General Assembly, most notably guiding tourism through the biggest crisis in the history of the sector. Against this backdrop. members endorsed the Programme of Work for the coming biennium and voted strongly (77%) in favour of the Secretary-General serving a second term (2022- 2025). United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, as well as the leaders of key UN agencies UNWTO has been working with throughout the pandemic – WHO, ICAO and UNCTAD – delivered dedicated messages to UNWTO.
Power of youth and private sector

The General Assembly united Member States and Affiliate Members around a shared vision for the future of tourism and UNWTO itself. Members endorsed a landmark International Code for the Protection of Tourists, making clear the responsibilities every part of the sector has in assisting tourists in crisis situations and so helping restore trust in international travel.

Sustainable, inclusive future

Away from the Plenary Sessions for Members, the General Assembly also saw UNWTO bring Tourism Ministers and representatives from international organizations and the private sector together for a special Thematic Session on “Building for the Future: Innovation, Education and Rural Development”. Here, the winners of the UNWTO Global Rural Tourism Competition were announced, as was the first list of Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO, recognizing the power of new ideas to create opportunities outside of big cities and those destinations that are already leading the way in harnessing the power of tourism as a driver of recovery and sustainable development.

At the same time, the best young talent was also celebrated with the winners of the UNWTO Students’ League sharing their ideas alongside established sector leaders. And the role of UNWTO’s Affiliate Members in putting plans into action the ground was also emphasized. New Affiliate Members were welcomed and examples of effective public-private partnerships singled out, for helping tourism adapt to the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Members voted to hold the 25th Session of the General Assembly in 2023 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Before then, as also endorsed by Members, Bali in Indonesia will host World Tourism Day 2022, to be held around the timely theme of ‘Rethinking Tourism’, while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be the host country for World Tourism Day 2023, to be held around the theme of ‘Tourism for Green Investment’.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

ICAO and UNWTO Issue Joint Statement to Reconnect he World

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ICAO and UNWTO Issue Joint Statement to Reconnect he World

Montréal, Canada, December 10, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / This International Civil Aviation Day, the UN Aviation and World Tourism organizations (ICAO/UNWTO) have issued a joint call for efforts to reconnect the world to be accelerated. The COVID-19 pandemic brought global air mobility and tourism to an abrupt halt. It also pressed pause on trillions of dollars worth of economic activity. Millions of livelihoods and businesses have been placed at risk. And while increasing vaccination rates are helping to kickstart the return of international aviation and restart tourism, much more still needs to be done.

We therefore add our organizations’ voices to those of the G7, G20, and the many countries who have called for borders to be opened to fully vaccinated travelers, travelers with acceptable proof of recovery from previous infection, and travelers holding mutually recognized and ICAO VDS-secured personal health certificates.

We also jointly stress that restrictions on travel considered in response to new variants of the COVID-19 virus must be only used as a very last resort. Such restrictions are discriminatory, ineffective and against the guidance of the World Health Organization.

ICAO and UNWTO also call for equal access to vaccines, and for efforts towards vaccine equity to be intensified and accelerated. This is especially critical for developing countries still bearing the brunt of the pandemic and least able to cope with its economic and social impacts.

With pent up travel and tourism demand now clearly evident in every global region, and with better mitigation strategies and greater international coordination in place, our organizations believe that our sectors can be drivers for economic recovery, both in the developed and the developing worlds.

However, as the restart of international civil aviation and tourism does get underway, ICAO and UNWTO recognize that a return to ‘business as usual’ would be a dereliction of responsibility in a post-pandemic world facing a climate crisis and ongoing economic inequality.

To build greater resilience to future health emergencies within our respective sectors, our agencies will work with governments to improve travel and tourism crisis response coordination, and to rethink and modernize every step of the passenger journey, with a focus on safety and security. Air travelers must be able to expect a safe, secure and healthy travel experience from check in to arriving at their destination.

To ensure the sustainability of air tourism in the face of the climate crisis, we will also take every opportunity to facilitate and accelerate the pace of innovation. In particular, we will advance progress towards the use of renewable energy, sustainable fuels, and other emissions reduction and elimination solutions, while continuously encouraging countries and the industry itself to meet or surpass their commitments.

And, as global air connectivity continues to expand, and to connect more of us to each other and to our natural environments, we must ensure that it does so on a progressively greener and more sustainable basis. Countries must set aggressive targets through our agencies so that international and domestic commitments progress together and so effectively address the impacts of travel and tourism.

The outcome of our shared efforts will play a critical role in assuring the most basic capability of many countries to invest toward and realize the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and all objectives to build-back-better in global air connectivity and tourism must be reviewed and fine-tuned in support of the 2030 Agenda and Our Common Agenda objectives.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Calls Against Blanket Travel Restrictions

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UNWTO Calls Against Blanket Travel Restrictions

Madrid, Spain, December 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations calls out against the introduction of blanket restrictions on travel, as witnessed in recent days. This call echoes the concerns raised by UNWTO Members during the 24th UNWTO General Assembly (30 November–3 December). Countries from all global regionsexpressed their solidarity with Southern African states, calling for the immediate lifting of travel bans imposed on specific countries and for freedom of international travel to be upheld.

UNWTO takes note of the recent declarations of the United Nations Secretary-General and the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the unfairness and ineffectiveness of blanket travel in respect to the countries of Southern Africa.

Restrictions ineffective and discriminatory

In light of recent developments, UNWTO has once again reminded countries that the imposition of blanket restrictions on travel is discriminatory, ineffective and contrary to WHO recommendations. Blanket restrictions may also stigmatize countries or whole regions.

During the UNWTO General Assembly, Members States and partners, including voices from international organizations and across the private sector, echoed WHO’s advice that travel restrictions should only be imposed as a very last resort in response to changing circumstances. Furthermore, it was stressed that if restrictions are introduced, they must be proportionate, transparent, and scientifically based. They must also only be introduced with a full appreciation of what halting international travel would mean for the most vulnerable, including those developing countries and individuals who depend on tourism for their economies and livelihoods.

Coordination not discrimination

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNWTO has called for coordinated and evidence-based approaches to balancing public health concerns with keeping the lifeline of tourism intact. Over recent months, such an approach has been shown to be the most effective way forward.

UNWTO notes that travel and vaccination levels are closely connected, as the emergence of new variants facilitated by low levels of vaccination has shown. As such, UNWTO calls on all countries to act in solidarity to ensure equitable access to vaccines for all, to recognize all WHO approved vaccines for the purpose of international travel and to facilitate access to patents for local production of vaccines.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – 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.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Announces Best Tourism Villages 2021

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UNWTO Announces Best Tourism Villages 2021 - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, December 3, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The best examples of villages embracing tourism to provide opportunity and drive sustainable development have been celebrated at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in Madrid. The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative was launched to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and their local values and activities, including local gastronomy.

A total of 44 villages from 32 countries across the five world regions were granted the recognition in 2021. All of them stand out for their natural and cultural resources as well as for their innovative and transformative actions and commitment to the development of tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This initiative recognizes those villages committed to making tourism a strong driver of their development and wellbeing

The villages were evaluated by an independent Advisory Board based on a set of criteria covering nine areas:

  1. Cultural and Natural Resources
  2. Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources
  3. Economic Sustainability
  4. Social Sustainability
  5. Environmental Sustainability
  6. Tourism Potential and Development and Value Chain Integration
  7. Governance and Prioritization of Tourism
  8. Infrastructure and Connectivity
  9. Health, Safety and Security

All of the 44 chosen villages scored a total of 80 or more points or more out of a possible 100.

Tourism as a driver of rural development and inclusion

“Tourism can be a driver of social cohesion and inclusion by promoting a fairer distribution of benefits throughout the territory and empowering local communities,” says UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. “This initiative recognizes those villages committed to making tourism a strong driver of their development and wellbeing”.

The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative includes three pillars:

  1. The ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’: Recognizes villages which are an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination with recognized cultural and natural assets, that preserve and promote rural and community-based values, products and lifestyle and have a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects – economic, social and environmental.
  2. The ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’ Upgrade Programme: The Upgrade programme will benefit a number of villages that do not fully meet the criteria to receive the recognition. These villages will receive support from UNWTO and its Partners in improving elements of the areas identified as gaps in the evaluation process.
  3. The ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’ Network: The Network will provide a space for exchanging experiences and good practices, learnings, and opportunities. It will include representatives of the villages recognized as the ‘Best Tourism Village by UNWTO’ , the villages participating in the Upgrade Programme, as well as experts, public and private sector partners engaged in the promotion of tourism for rural development.

A total 174 villages were proposed by 75 UNWTO Member States (each Member State could present a maximum of three villages) for the 2021 pilot initiative. Among which 44 were recognized as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO. Another 20 villages will enter the Upgrade Programme of the Initiative. All 64 villages enter to make part of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Network.

The next edition will open in February 2022.

List of Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO 2021:

  • Bekhovo, Russian Federation
  • Bkassine, Lebanon
  • Bojo, Philippineshe
  • Caspalá, Argentina
  • Castelo Rodrigo, Portugal
  • Cuetzalan del Progreso, Mexico
  • Cumeada, Portugal
  • Gruyères, Switzerland
  • Batu Puteh , Malaysia
  • Kaunertal, Austria
  • Le Morne, Mauritius
  • Lekunberri, Spain
  • Maní, Mexico
  • Misfat Al Abriyeen, Oman
  • Miyama, Japan
  • Mokra Gora, Serbia
  • Morella, Spain
  • Mustafapaşa, Turkey
  • Nglanggeran, Indonesia
  • Niseko, Japan
  • Nkotsi Village, Rwanda
  • Old Grand Port, Mauritius
  • Olergesailie, Kenya
  • Ollantaytambo, Peru
  • Pano Lefkara, Cyprus
  • Pica, Chile
  • Pochampally, India
  • Puerto Williams, Chile
  • Radovljica, Slovenia
  • Rijal Alma’a, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Testo Alto, Brazil
  • Saas Fee, Switzerland
  • San Cosme y Damián, Paraguay
  • San Ginesio, Italy
  • Sidi Kaouki, Morocco
  • Solčava, Slovenia
  • Soufli, Greece
  • Taraklı, Turkey
  • The Purple Island, Republic of Korea
  • Ungok Village, Republic of Korea
  • Valposchiavo, Switzerland
  • Wonchi, Ethiopia
  • Xidi, China
  • Yucun, China

Additionally, UNWTO will work with the following villages participating in the Upgrade Programme:

  • Ordino, Andorra
  • Khinalig, Azerbaijan
  • Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria
  • Kaštelir Labinci, Croatia
  • Agros, Cyprus
  • Fuwah, Egypt
  • Western Samos, Greece
  • Hollókő, Hungary
  • Biei, Japan
  • Capulálpam de Méndez, Mexico
  • Godinje, Montenegro
  • Gornja Lastva, Montenegro
  • Oukaimeden, Morocco
  • Barangay Tenani, Philippines
  • Gasura, Rwanda
  • Gostilje, Serbia
  • Gorenja Vas, Slovenia
  • Cantavieja, Spain
  • Bo Suak, Thailand
  • Ruboni, Uganda

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – 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.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News