International tourist arrivals to the European Union increased by four per cent in 2016, reaching almost 500 million - 40 per cent the world’s total. This preliminary result is included in the first release of the ‘European Union Short-Term Tourism Trends’, a regular monitoring of EU tourism by the World Tourism Organisation.
The secretariat of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation has confirmed the final candidates for the post of secretary general of the body. Former Seychelles tourism minister Alain St. Ange is an early favourite, with his bid backed by the government of Seychelles.
Visitors to the MENA region will total 195 million by 2030, growing at a rate higher than the world average, according to figures by the World Tourism Organisation. The rapid development of the sector will form part of the discussion at the UNWTO & ATM ministerial forum at the Arabian Travel Market this year.
Tourism can transform our world and build better understanding in a world living a deficit of tolerance said UNWTO secretary general, Taleb Rifai, at ITB Berlin. “In a world that seems increasingly short of tolerance and generosity, we should cherish tourism as a precious pillar of peace among communities and nations,” he told an industry audience.
Days after the event, the World Tourism Organisation has moved to express its “deep concern” and “strong condemnation” over the recently announced travel ban by the United States of America. The ban announced on Friday, effectively bars nationals of seven countries - Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen – from entering the US.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the Japan International Cooperation Agency have signed a memorandum of cooperation aimed at providing a framework for joint action in the area of sustainable tourism.
Alain St. Ange has stepped down from his post of Seychelles minister of tourism. He will be replaced by Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, who will be sworn in today by president Danny Faure as the new minister of tourism, civil aviation, ports and marine for the Republic of the Seychelles.
Coinciding with the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development to be celebrated throughout 2017, the third International Congress on Ethics and Tourism will be held in Poland, on April 27th-28th, 2017. Organised by the World Tourism Organisation, the event will focus on the shared responsibility of all stakeholders in promoting a more sustainable tourism sector.
During a recent visit to Brussels, Belgium, the secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Taleb Rifai, discussed how to reinforce the collaboration of the organisation with the European Union. Rifai met the EU commissioners for education, culture, youth and sports, Tibor Navracsics; for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, Karmenu Vella; and for international cooperation and development, Neven Mimica.