A conference on “Universal Values and Cultural Diversity in the 21st Century: How can tourism make a difference?” will be held in Yerevan, Armenia (18-19 October, 2012) as agreed during a meeting between Armenian President, Serzh Sargsyan, and UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. On the occasion of the meeting, President Sargsyan joined the ongoing UNWTO/WTTC Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign.
Tourism is one of Armenia’s fastest growing economic sectors highlighted President Sargsyan on joining the UNWTO/WTTC joint campaign, which calls on world leaders to recognize tourism as a force for economic growth and development.
“Tourism is a reliable generator of employment and an irreplaceable tool for economic growth and territorial development,” said President Sargsyan. “Apart from being an important economic sector, tourism is for us an unparalleled means for intercultural dialogue and an effective catalyst for good international relations and mutual respect, a matchless tool for building tolerance and peace worldwide,” he added.
“Armenia clearly understands the need to actively support its tourism sector and we are most pleased to have Armenia joining the campaign as well as partnering with UNWTO on holding this conference on tourism’s contribution to cultural diversity,” said Mr. Rifai. “The Conference is, moreover, a good moment for the country to progress in its objective to increase its share of the meetings industry market,” he added.
UNWTO and Armenia further agreed to work together to promote the South Caucasus Tourism Development Initiative. This initiative links up the four countries of the region – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and part of Turkey – to jointly capitalize on their shared tourism assets and boost the strategic positioning of the region. The initiative is part of UNWTO’s strategy to strengthen regional cooperation in Europe as a means to increase tourism competitiveness.