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UNWTO Secretary-General to attend World Youth and Student Travel Conference

UNWTO Secretary-General to attend World Youth and Student Travel Conference

The World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation (WYSETC) is pleased to announce that Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), will attend this year’s conference in Barcelona, September 20-23.

The Secretary-General will open the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC). Now in its 20th year, the conference constantly adapts to understand and explore the ever-changing characteristics, motivations, and needs of young travelers and the industry that supports them.

“Mr. Rifai’s attendance at our conference is extremely welcome and re-affirms the importance of our cooperation and belief that the youth travel industry plays an increasingly vital role in the development of global tourism,” said Robin Wicks, Director-General of WYSE Travel Confederation.

It is the shared intention of UNWTO and WYSE Travel Confederation to spotlight the significant social and economic value of the youth travel sector to governments, official tourism organizations, and destinations worldwide.

“We believe there is potential for governments and tourism organizations to increase their engagement with this valuable market segment to significant mutual benefit, and we will launch our initiative at WYSTC 2011,” Wicks added.


The youth and student travel market accounted for 20 percent of international arrivals in 2010, generating receipts of US$165 billion. Much of this money remains with locally-owned businesses and communities contributing to poverty alleviation and sustainable economic development.