Published on : Wednesday, May 11, 2016
With the attendance by more than 300 representatives from 50 countries, including 17 ministers and secretaries of tourism, the 103rd session of the UNWTO Executive Council concluded on Wednesday. The session took place during a key time for the sector as it continues on its upward growth trend, already accounting for 7 per cent of total world exports.
With nearly 1.2 billion international tourist arrivals recorded in 2015, representing a 4% increase over the previous twelve months, the World Tourism Organization confirms that the growth rate will continue to rise in 2016. In fact, the increase in international arrivals in the first months of the year, at 5 per cent, has already outstripped last year’s growth figure.
“Over the past three days, Málaga, one of the reference destinations around the world, has been the capital of international tourism, in a country that is a leader in this sector,” said the UNWTO Secretary-General at the closing press conference of the session.
In addition to the priorities of the Organization, which address the relationship between tourism and new technologies, sustainability, security and travel facilitation, the Council also approved the main outline for the observance of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This international year, which was recently adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, will be kicked off with an inaugural event to be held in the framework of FITUR tourism fair, which is held in Madrid every January.
At the close of the session, the Executive Council announced the admission of 26 new Affiliate Members to the World Tourism Organization (listed below).
The Council decided to hold its next session, in the last quarter of this year, in the Egyptian city of Luxor.
The new UNWTO Affiliate Members are: Airbnb (United States of America); Asociación Europea para el desarrollo de la Cultura Gastronómica (Spain); Chemonics International Inc. (USA); Chinese Friendly International S.L (Spain); Colorado State University (United States of America); Consorcio turismo de Sevilla (Spain); Cork Forest Conservation Alliance (CFCA) (United States of America); E&Y (United States of America); Ente de turismo de la ciudad de buenos aires (Argentina); EURHODIP (Belgium); Grupo Menus (Web Menus SL) (Spain); Gurunavi, Inc. (Japan); Kyoto University, Department of Applied Mathematics and Physics, graduate school of Economics (Japan); Neoturismo (Spain); Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) (Canada); Questex – Destination Develop (United States of America); Red española de turismo accesible-RED ESTABLE (Spain); Seoul Tourism Organization (Rep. of Korea); Taylor University (Malaysia); The Style Outlets-Neinver S.A (Spain); Touring & Automobile Club of IRAN (Iran); Toyo University (Japan); United Saeed Assiri Co.Ltd/United Alpha Tourism Co.Ltd (Saudi Arabia); Universidad de Guadalajara – Centro Universitario de Ciencias Económico Administrativas – Centro de Recursos Informativos (Mexico); Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain) and Universitaria Agustiniana – Uniaugustiniana (Colombia)