News

11 July 2014 UNWTO and France debate areas of further cooperation
UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, and the French Minister of State in charge of Tourism, Fleur Pellerin, met to discuss the new tourism strategy of France as well as how to further strengthen the collaboration with UNWTO. Issues on the agenda included visa facilitation, taxation and the World Committee on Tourism Ethics (Paris, 30 June 2014).
23 June 2014 World Tourism Day 2014: Celebrating tourism and community development
‘Tourism and Community Development’ is the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD). The theme underscores the potential of tourism to promote opportunities for communities around the world, as well as the role that community engagement has in advancing sustainable tourism development. The official celebrations will be hosted by Mexico in the city of Guadalajara (27 September 2014).
9 June 2014 UNWTO Executive Council: Tourism routes key to regional integration and development
The 98th session of the UNWTO Executive Council meeting in Spain highlighted the role of tourism routes in promoting regional integration and development. The Council further debated key factors to stimulate tourism growth such as visa facilitation and air connectivity while recalling the role the tourism sector can play in the sustainable development agenda (Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 5-6 June 2014).
2 June 2014 UNWTO supports Tourism Recovery in the Philippines
During a recent visit to the Philippines, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai visited the Bohol province to review the recovery progress following the 2013 earthquake and deliver a recovery plan for the region’s tourism sector.
19 May 2014 UNWTO calls for support to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia
UNWTO is deeply saddened by the news of the devastating floods currently affecting Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia. On behalf of the international tourism community, UNWTO conveys its heartfelt sympathy to the affected communities and to the Governments of the three countries.
14 May 2014 International tourism generates US$ 1.4 trillion in export earnings
Total export earnings generated by international tourism in 2013 reached US$ 1.4 trillion. Receipts earned by destinations from international visitors grew by 5% to reach US$ 1159 billion, while an additional US$ 218 billion was earned by international passenger transport.
13 May 2014 UNWTO cautions against potential tourism tax in Africa
UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, has expressed serious concerns about the negative impact that a new tourism tax on air passengers and hotel guests in Africa, currently being discussed among members of the African Union, would have on Africa´s tourism sector. Tourism is one of the main contributors to Africa’s balance of payments, a source of livelihood for millions in the continent and one of the sectors where the region has a major competitive advantage in international markets.
7 May 2014 Air connectivity key to seizing Africa’s tourism potential
UNWTO African Members States, gathered on the occasion of the 56th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa, highlighted the need to have better coordination between tourism and air transport policies to fully explore the tourism sector’s capacity to deliver on growth and development in the continent. The meeting also discussed the on-going poaching crisis in Africa and its negative impact on tourism (28-30 April 2014, Luanda, Angola).
31 March 2014 UNWTO welcomes the UK government decision to review the Air Passenger Duty
UNWTO welcomes the recent decision by the UK government to reform the Air Passenger Duty (APD). The current APD system, in place since 2008, has significantly hindered UK’s tourism while creating important market distortions affecting long-haul destinations.  
24 January 2014 Visa facilitation and air connectivity - key areas for tourism development in Africa
Visa facilitation and air connectivity are key areas to address in order to fully seize Africa’s steadily rising tourism performance and foster sustainable development in the region. This was one of the main conclusions of the 5th Investment and Tourism Business Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR), which gathered 12 African Tourism Ministers and public and private tourism stakeholders, attending this yearly initiative held on the occasion of the Madrid International Tourism Fair (FITUR). (Madrid, Spain, 23 January 2014).