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UNWTO head advocates for safer, easier travel in 2016

UNWTO head advocates for safer, easier travel in 2016
March 15, 2016

The promotion of safe and seamless travel should be one of the key priorities for the tourism industry this year, says the head of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Speaking at international tourism trade exhibition ITB Berlin, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai stated “safety and security are priorities for all and we need to ensure tourism is fully integrated into national and international security agendas.”

In an address to the ITB Berlin opening ceremony, Rifai cautioned that security challenges should not prompt the building of new walls and stressed the need “to cooperate, not isolate”, adding “enhancing security and enabling more seamless travel should always go hand-in-hand,” he noted.

Rifai suggested that one of the ways to make tourism safer and easier is through technology, which is rapidly changing consumers’ behaviour and business models, highlighting the need to better understand the impact of technology on the tourism sector, and to maximize new opportunities that improve the competitiveness of destinations and help manage natural resources more effectively.

The tourism industry can embrace sustainability and still reach its economic goals, was another key message for 2016, as the United Nations agency expects the industry to grow an estimated 4% this year.

Rifai called on industry representatives to adhere to the 2030 Agenda, which contains the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a “matter of realising benefits for all.”

The topic will be particularly relevant next year, given that the UN has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Rifai stated “climate change mitigation, effective resource management, poverty reduction and inclusive growth need to be at the centre of tourism development.”

He noted that addressing these priorities can only be achieved with tourism established as a national priority with the necessary financial and political support to advance the sector. At the same time, tourism can support the economic, social and environmental foundations of many countries.

Rifai concluded “as we embrace a new sustainable development agenda let us ensure that while we build a more competitive sector we are also contributing to a better world.”

22nd January 2016 - 2015 INTERNATIONAL TOURIST ARRIVALS RISE 4% TO A RECORD 1.2 BILLION

10th December 2015 - UAE ATTRACTIONS AND VENUES ALERT TO SECURITY THREATS

18th November 2015 - SAFETY AND SECURITY CHALLENGES FOR PROTECTING STADIA AND SPORT VENUES

30th November 2014 - UN REPORT SHOWS GROWING VALUE OF GLOBAL ADVENTURE TOURISM

12th December 2014 - ANGER OVER AUSTRALIA’S WITHDRAWL FROM UNWTO

11th February 2014 - UNWTO SECRETARY GENERAL TALEB RIFAI ADDRESSES 2014 CAUTHE CONFERENCE 

29th July 2010 - COALITION PLEDGES TO BACK BUSINESS EVENTS TOURISM 


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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