Sunday, June 15, 2008

UNWTO's Leading Issues for the Global Travel Industry

The following is based on a story in TRAVEL IMPACT NEWSWIRE - Edition 48, Friday, June 13, 2008 - by Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, in Bangkok. Unfortunately, this newsletter is only available by email and it is not possible to view it on a website. The title of this particular story was: India Says Travel Advisories Should Go.

However, the story was really excerpts from a speech given by the India's Tourism and Culture Minister Mrs. Ambika Sonire, whos is the current elected Chair of the UN World Tourism Organization's (UNTWO) executive council at the 83rd Session of the Executive Council meeting of the UNWTO in Jeju, South Korea.

What I found most interesting about the story was the list of priority areas that she has proposed for the organization to focus on for 2010-2011. I found the list to be a succinct summary of the issues, and I generally agree with them.

Two issues that are not on this this list, but which Mrs. Sonire noted in her speech as pressing topics, were was the rising cost of oil -- due to the impact this is having on international air travel -- and the need to address the UN Millenium Development Goal of eradicating poverty, for which the UNWTO is promoting sustainable tourism through, for example, rural tourism, adventure tourism, eco-tourism, wildlife tourism.

Some of the areas of other major priority are:

a) Education-Human Resource Development
- to address severe tourism manpower shortages in many countries

b) Promotion of Public Private Partnership

c) Environmental Issues and Tourism
- especially global climate change, with an emphasis on helping developing countries to adopt technologies to limit green house gasses

d) New Tourism Product Development/ Innovation in Tourism

e) Collecting and Disseminating worldwide tourism documentation
- especially in efforts to thwart terrorist incidents

f) Promotion of the Image and Importance of Tourism

g) Travel facilitation and Travel Advisories
- Travel advisories should be issued with more careful consideration, and not immediately following an problematic incident.


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