The UNWTO Secretary-General stresses on smart cities, making people’s lives easier and boosting tourism

Published on : Saturday, October 12, 2019

Smart cities not only make people’s lives easier, they also boost tourism, said the Secretary-General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili.


“Smart cities have enormous capacity to positively influence not only the lives of the people who inhabit them, but also have a great influence on tourism,” said Pololikashvili in the Kazakh capital at the beginning of the 8th UNWTO Global Summit on Urban Tourism.


More than 1,400 representatives from 80 countries are taking part in the four-day event held by the UN agency and the Mayor’s office of Nur-Sultan under the theme ”Smart Cities, Smart Destinations.”


Pololikashvili said further, “The tourism sector must interact with society, with local authorities. We have to explain the role of tourism in the economic development of every country.”


He said that tourism is now developing very quickly, and this is also causing a series of problems related to the sector.


Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin said that the country’s authorities aim to work with large international companies for advancing tourism.


“Currently, tourism accounts for 10 per cent of GDP, 10 per cent of jobs and 5 per cent of the total industry,” said Mamin, who pointed out that tourism helped sustainable development of cities.


The northern Spanish city of Barcelona”s director of Tourism, Joan Torrella, said that great changes occuring in tourism worldwide are mostly related to technology.


“I would perhaps underline the individualization of the tourist experience. More and more people are forgoing large tour packages to travel instead with smartphones with our knowledge we buy customised and last-minute experiences,” Torrella said.


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