WTO and Catalan Tourist Board launch first World Sports Tourism Congress

Published on : Friday, September 24, 2021

The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), ZurabPololikashvili, and the Minister of Business and Labour of the Government of Catalonia, Roger Torrent, presented the first World Sports Tourism Congress and its programme, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, at a press conference held in Lloret de Mar and Barcelona.

The Congress, which previously had to be postponed due to the pandemic, will take place on 25 and 26 November at the Olympic Conference Centre in the Catalan town of Lloret de Mar. The presentation was attended by Marta Domènech, Director-General of Tourism, Ion Vilcu, Director of the Department of Affiliate Members of UNWTO, Narcís Ferrer, Director of the Catalan Tourist Board, and JaumeDulsat, Mayor of Lloret de Mar.

The Congress will have a total of 62 speakers from different countries such as the United States, Canada, France, Wales, Northern Ireland and Croatia. Leading figures from the world of sport and tourism, representing entities that are also UNWTO Affiliate Members, have already confirmed their attendance as speakers, such as Petra Stusek, President and CEO of European Cities Marketing; Kattia Juarez Dubón of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme; Edwin Moses, Olympic medallist; Marco Mazzi, Vice- President of the International Sports Travel Agencies Association, and Mafalda Magalhaes, Director of FC Porto Museum.

Registration is now open at https://worldsportstourismcongress.org. The Congress will be a hybrid event, allowing both in-person and virtual participation, and aims to strengthen the relationship between sports tourism and sustainable and inclusive development, diversification, differentiation and de-seasonalization. Also collaborating in the organization of the event are the Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board and the City Council of Lloret de Mar through Lloret Turismo.

The Congress, which already had almost 400 pre-registered participants before the official opening of registration, will address topics such as the challenges for the sector posed by COVID-19; trends in sport and physical activity; innovation in the development of sports tourism; mass attendance at sporting events; as well as the environmental framework, diversity and inclusion in the world of sport.

The programme also includes other aspects, such as different public-private governance strategies, the digital transformation of the sector, e-sports, digital marketing, communication and commercialization. Over the two days of the Congress, there will be different sports activities for the participants, academic presentations and technical visits; in addition, spaces will be set up for networking to maximize synergies among the attendees.

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