2016 started on a strong note for international tourism. International tourist arrivals grew by 5% between January and April 2016 according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Results were robust across almost all subregions and many destinations reported double-digit growth. Prospects for May-August remain positive, with around 500 million tourists expected to travel abroad in the Northern Hemisphere summer holiday peak season.
The nearly-Zero Energy Hotels (neZEH) e-toolkit, which is available online at: www.nezeh.eu assesses the energy performance of hotels and proposes measures to improve efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy sources towards nearly-zero consumption. The toolkit is the outcome of a three-year long project funded by the European Union.
Tourism can play a key role in building peace and supporting reconciliation processes, concluded the UNWTO Conference on ‘Tourism, a catalyst for development, peace and reconciliation’ held in Passikudah, Sri Lanka between 11 and 14 July. Community engagement and empowerment, capacity building and training, and public/private sector partnerships are key factors in advancing a culture of peace through tourism in post-conflict societies. Participants recalled the importance of placing tourism at the heart of the peace and reconciliation agenda, to ensure the sector can deliver on its capacity to generate development and social inclusion.
The Roundtable ‘Exploring Health Tourism’ gathered a group of international experts in Budapest, Hungary, to better understand and explore the growing segment of wellness and medical tourism. The meeting was convened by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Travel Commission (ETC), as part of their joint research programme, with the support of the Hungarian Tourism Agency.
UNWTO will work with the Government of Ukraine to support the development of its tourism sector. The cooperation will focus on the areas of tourism statistics, communications and capacity building within the Organization for tourism officials and graduates from the country’s tourism educational institutions. The initiatives were discussed between UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai and Vice-Prime Minister for Euro-Integration and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsyntsadze at the sidelines of the Conference on ‘Destination Branding – keys to building a successful reputation’, organized by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine in collaboration with UNWTO.
Building on the successful implementation of the Shandong Province Tourism Development Master Plan 2001-2010, and the Shandong Coastal Tourism Development Plan 2005-2025, both formulated by UNWTO and executed by the Shandong Tourism Development Administration (SDTA), UNWTO has been requested by the Shandong Development and Reform Committee (SDRC) and SDTA to provide technical assistance to develop a new tourism master plan for Shandong Province.
In October 2015, UNWTO fielded a formulation mission to Shandong to prepare the project document for the development of the new provincial tourism master plan, and in February 2016, and agreement was signed between SDRC and UNWTO for the development of the new Master Plan. Subsequently, UNWTO deployed a team of experts to assist in the next stage of tourism development in Shandong Province. From March to July 2016, the experts will work together with officials from SDRC and SDTA to prepare the Shandong Tourism Development Master Plan 2016 – 2015.
1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism (Kakheti Region, Georgia, 7-9 September 2016)
UNWTO Tourism Highlights presents a concise overview of international tourism in the world based on the results for the year 2015. The report includes:
Under the title ‘Advancing the Measurement of Sustainable Tourism Development’, UNWTO Member States, NGOs, academic institutions and other public and private sector entities discussed approaches to effectively measure, monitor and assess tourism performance and impacts at destination level. This consultative process takes place at a time in which the international tourism community embraces the Sustainable Development Goals.
UNWTO welcomed more than 70 experts from 21 countries at its Headquarters in Madrid, to discuss and share experiences related to the measurement and monitoring of the impact that tourism has on destinations. Special focus was put on the relevance and the opportunities available from non-traditional data sources, including social media analysis, geospatial data mapping, big and live data collection and usage, as well as the analysis of credit card spending patterns and the flow of visitors based on mobile device information.