UNWTO / WTM Ministers’ Summit – Overtourism: growth is not the enemy, it is how we manage it

Published on : Wednesday, November 8, 2017

UNWTOCommunity engagement, communication, congestion management, adequate planning and product diversification were highlighted as key aspects in dealing with ‘overtourism’.

Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said opening the Summit: “growth is not the enemy; numbers are not the enemy; the key is to manage the growth sustainably, responsibly and intelligently and use the power of growth to our advantage”.

“We cannot continue to build five-star hotels in three-star communities. Jobs and charity are not enough – we need to diversify visitors’ activities, reduce seasonality and raise awareness of less busy destinations” he added.

Participants agreed on the need to build awareness among communities of the benefits of the sector, improve the use of big data to measure and manage the impact of tourists and tourist flows, and promote the development of tourism experiences that engage and benefit communities directly.

The emergence of new platform tourism services, or the so called sharing-economy, was discussed at length, with participants recognizing that they will continue to expand and need to be understood and managed by destinations on a case-by-case basis.

Speakers in the Summit included:

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