About us

UNWTO, through the programme of Sustainable Development of Tourism, assists members to assess and mitigate risks related to tourism. Furthermore, to develop, plan and implement crisis management systems that will reduce the impact of and assist in the recovery from crises, the activities and projects are guided by the relevant provision in the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.

Summary of projects/activities:

1. Measures to facilitate international travel. UNWTO ensures the safe and efficient movement of travellers. This includes further development of standards, procedures and the exchange of information in order to deter threats, reduce costs and help ensure safe and efficient movement of travellers. Localization of travel relevant risk information including travel advisories through geo-referencing, time elapsing mechanisms and supporting machine-readable information. Another main focus is on health standards and health information related especially to international travel. UNWTO acts as an international focal point for the World Health Organization (WHO) within the framework of the International Health Regulations (IHR).

2. Supports members in identifying and mitigating global and local risks related to tourism. UNWTO supports tourism crisis management efforts at national level, focusing on both the establishment of effective crisis management systems (CMS) and improvement of existing CMS. Of very high importance is the integration of travel and tourism into the national emergency structures and procedures. After having surveyed the issue globally, UNWTO is currently preparing guidelines and best practices on the subject.

To allow for a resilient and sustainable development at a national, regional and international level, UNWTO also supports Members by providing mitigation strategies, actions and instruments to evaluate risks of global and local importance through capacity building workshops in the following areas:

  • Emergency Planning for Tourism
  • Tourism Risk Analysis, Early Warning and Mapping
  • Crisis Coordination at the National and International Level
  • Crisis Centre
  • Crisis Communication
  • Recovery Techniques

3. Coordination with the United Nations system to enable and ensure consistent and common approach, reflects the role of tourism, avoid redundancies of activities, allow confidence building and advocacy for issues of international importance.

This coordination takes place with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the area of health-related issues and was of utmost importance during the outbreak of the Pandemic (H1N1) in 2009. Please refer to the special report on this issue, which highlights the working relationship, lessons learned and gaps in information and preparation which still exist. Close cooperation has also taken place with the United Nations System Influenza Coordination (UNSIC) in both preparation for, and while dealing with pandemics. The lessons learned during this cooperation have been compiled into the report ¨Toward a Safer World¨ conveying the travel, tourism and aviation area. Active cooperation is in place across the different subject areas with, among others, World Health Organization (WHO), the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent (IFRC), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) in the field of security and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the area of natural and man-made disasters complement our regular activities.

4. Improve capacity of members to develop, plan and implement crisis management systems; especially to support members in their efforts to develop and implement crisis management systems for the tourism sector. For this, a number of workshops were designed and are listed with their key features below.

    Capacity Building Workshop in Brazil                         Capacity Building Workshop in Oman

 

Short Term Product Variations / Recovery Techniques Workshop in Egypt

  • Regional Capacity Building Workshop. Duration: 3 days. Workshop addresses the core issues of a systematic approach to manage risk and crises, including the necessary organizational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures. In an interactive but also didactic way, international and national experts present findings and coach the participants through all necessary steps that efficient risk and crisis management requires.
  • Regional Capacity building workshop on Emergency Planning for Tourism. Duration: 1 1/2 days. Workshop prepares for optimizing procedures and structures necessary for domestic and international tourism when it comes to emergencies. National and regional specifics are taken into account.
  • Regional workshop on Tourism Risk Analysis, Early Warning and Mapping. Duration: 2 days. Workshop is laying the foundations for the prevention of national and man-made disasters for tourism developments. National and regional specifics are taken into account.
  • Regional workshop on Crisis Coordination at the National and International Level. Duration: 1 1/2 days. Workshop prepares for a better coordination for times of crises including priority setting, network maintenance and coordination between inbound and outbound markets. National and regional specifics are taken into account.
  • Regional workshop on Crisis Centre. Duration: 1 1/2 days. Workshop focuses on the establishment and maintenance of inbound and outbound crises centers operations, procedures, techniques while national and regional specifics are taken into account.
  • Regional workshop on Crisis Communications. Duration: 1 1/2 days. Workshop trains participants to handle crisis communications efficiently and succesfully and takes national and regional specifics into account.
  • Regional workshop Tourism product development in difficult environments. Duration: 2 days. Workshop addresses the possibilities of how best to develop tourism products in difficult environments (safety and security).
  • Regional workshop on Recovery Techniques. Duration: 3 days. Workshop addresses the strategies and available instruments for the recovery of tourism destinations. It discusses and trains intensively the advantages and suitability of different recovery strategies and the wide array of possible techniques and instruments.

   

  Crisis Communications (traditional and new media) Workshop in Germany

5. To coordinate development, planning and implementation efforts at international level to ensure common approach, UNWTO carries out especially simulation exercises.  The simulation exercises have usually a regional participation and focus on health and other tourism specific threats to train response abilities and identify areas of improvement.

6. Member State emergency assistance supports tourism crisis management efforts at the national level and takes place through direct assistance during crises or recovery phases upon request from the Member State.

7. During international crises that have an important impact on the travel and tourism sector, UNWTO coordinates thorugh the Sustainable Development of Tourism Programme efforts, information and messages. It uses this role as the responsible agency for travel and tourism within the UN family. Frequently the Tourism Emergency Response Network (TERN), a group of leading tourism associations,  is activated.

For more information on TERN, please CLICK HERE.