UNWTO News 59

Release Date: 
30 Jan 17

Nearly 600 participants attended the Official Launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017. The event took place in the International Tourism Fair of Spain, FITUR, and will be followed by 12 months of global actions aimed at advancing sustainable tourism contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain presided over the event celebrating the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The gathering was attended by ministers of tourism from around the world. The celebration highlighted tourism’s enormous potential to contribute to the development of all countries within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the need to continue advancing towards a more sustainable sector that generates benefits to local communities and promotes the conservation of cultural values and natural heritage.  

INVESTOUR, a unique platform that brings together tourism businesses from Africa, Europe and the rest of the world on an annual basis has convened more than 20 African Ministers of Tourism at FITUR, the Spanish Tourism Fair. The initiative, now in its 8th edition, has taken place on 19 January in a joint initiative of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Casa Africa. 

Guanajuato’s State Ministry of Tourism (Mexico), Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group (Belgium), Govardhan Ecovillage (India) and Dutch Travel Trade Association (Netherlands) were the winners of 13th Edition of the UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism. Nearly 150 initiatives from 55 countries applied for this edition. 

Demand for international tourism remained robust in 2016 despite challenges. International tourist arrivals grew by 3.9% to reach a total of 1,235 million, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Some 46 million more tourists (overnight visitors) travelled internationally last year compared to 2015.

Since 2003, the UNWTO Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in the tourism sector, recognizing exceptional leaders in the categories of Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge and Lifetime achievement, innovative projects in the categories of Public Policy and Governance, Research and Technology, Enterprises and Non-governmental Organizations and the private sector commitment to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics in the Ethics category. Since their creation, the UNWTO Awards have recognized more than seventy institutions for their innovative tourism initiatives. The contribution of the awardees is in line with UNWTO´s policies, priorities and programme of work, including the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. 

Contribution of Islamic Culture and its Impact on the Asian Tourism Market highlights the influence of Islamic culture on Asian history and heritage and the potential of the emerging market for Islamic tourism. The publication outlines characteristics of the Islamic tourism market in Asia and the Pacific featuring 19 country monographs and case studies. Political, economic and socio-cultural dimensions of Islamic tourism in the region are outlined in each monograph.

The vision of the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme (STP) is for a tourism sector that has globally adopted sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices resulting in enhanced environmental and social outcomes and improved economic performance. The 10YFP STP offers a major opportunity to ensure that tourism contributes effectively to sustainable development, all within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a 10YFP programme, the 10YFP STP serves as a collaborative platform to bring together and scale up existing initiatives and partnerships and facilitate new projects and activities with potential to accelerate the shift to SCP.