World Travel Market 2019: innovation and rural development takes centre stage for Ministers’ Summit in London
123
World Travel Market 2019: innovation and rural development takes centre stage for Ministers’ Summit in London
TOHOLOGY, 6 November 2019

Tourism leaders from across the public and private sectors came together at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London (ExCeL London) for a high-level discussion on tourism’s role in rural development, the challenges and the opportunities. The Ministers’ Summit on “Technology for rural development”, hosted by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in partnership with WTM, focused on tourism innovation and technology and their place in empowering rural communities.

The Ministers’ Summit was held as the UNWTO works with its Member States and alongside its fellow United Nations agencies to face up to the challenges posed by rising levels of urbanization. According to the UN, 68% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. In many places, this has meant rural communities are “left behind”, and tourism has been identified as a key means of bridging the rural-urban divide by creating jobs and boosting economic sustainability.

Given the growing interest in rural development, the event, the 13th Ministers’ Summit held by UNWTO in partnership with WTM, attracted a large audience of delegates. Alongside 75 Ministers and Vice-Ministers of Tourism, members of the global media joined senior travel industry professionals for the high-level discussions, which were moderated by Nina Dos Santos, CNN’s Europe Editor.

Opening the Summit, Mr. Pololikashvili said: “Globally, poverty is overwhelmingly rural. This means, if we are serious tourism being a driver growth and development, we must look outside of our cities: We need to work together to help even the smallest community enjoy the many and varied benefits that tourism can bring.”

Participants from both the private and public sector explored the potential benefits of digital technology, agreeing that innovation and knowledge dissemination will be vital for bridging the rural-urban divide. Alongside private sector leaders, the public sector was represented by highest-level tourism representatives from Albania, Bolivia, Colombia, Greece, Guatemala, Panama, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone and Yemen, in addition to Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. Both public and private sector participants were united in their commitment to ensuring tourism’s contribution to rural development is geared to leaving no one behind.

At its recent General Assembly, UNWTO announced “Rural development and tourism” as the theme for World Tourism Day 2020, the global observance day celebrated every 27 September and underscoring tourism’s socio-economic relevance.

Against this backdrop, the outcomes of this year’s Ministers’ Summit at World Travel Market will serve as the foundations upon which to build the overarching thematic angle for many of UNWTO’s actions and initiatives around the world.

In the photo: UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. (c) World Travel Market London.

READ ALSO

Andy Murray has become the first British Gentlemen's Singles Wimbledon Champion for 77 years. Royal Mail commemorates the historic victory with its exclusive new stamps.

On June 6-8, 2019 the main events of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) were held at the ExpoForum Convention & Exhibition Centre. TOHOLOGY visited the place for meeting of global economy and business and prepared photography overview (see photo slider below).

The Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel has become the latest member of the globally renowned International Congress and Convention Association. The hotel combines all the standards of a four-star hotel with the facilities required for successful conferences and meetings. Membership of the ICCA will attract additional national and international events.

The release of the International Congress and Convention Association’s 2018 Country and City Rankings marks yet another successful year for the association meetings market. Paris, which previously held the top city spot in 2016, returns in 2018 to claim first place. The USA continues to top the country rankings.

COMMENTS
comments powered by HyperComments