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First meeting of World Tourism Expo focuses on promotion of World Heritage towns and sites

Mario Masciullo, eTN  Sep 26, 2010

ITALY (eTN) - Bestowing responsible tourism awards is an initiative of the leading Italian travel trade daily, L’Agenzia di Viaggi, the professional journal for tourism under the patronage of Enit, Fiavet, and Uftaa. With the award “TRI (Turismo Responsabile Italiano),” L’Agenzia di Viaggi identifies the products of responsible tourism and companies engaged in this important segment of the tourist industry as a means to promote responsible travel among agencies and travelers.

In collaboration with World Tourism Expo (WTE), the award focuses on TRI combinations of tourism and culture to "promote travel slow, emotional, and conscious, which constructs a heritage, memories, and a passport to peace," as defined by Claudio Ricci, Mayor of Assisi and the President of the Association Italian Cities and Sites UNESCO. The World Tourism Expo in conjunction with UNESCO, represents the first world meeting focused on human heritage.

The projects take into consideration the organization of a yearly exposition in order to support the UNESCO sites. The event offers exhibitors a qualified and well-organized venue in which to showcase their opportunities to tour operators and journalists from all over the world.

During the event, which will be held for three days from November 19-21, 2010 in Assisi, Italy, there will also be meetings and manifestations where experts, operators, and professionals will be present. During these meetings, the main themes which involve this field, such as the exploitation and marketing of UNESCO World Heritage sites, will be considered from a tourist's point of view on sustainability.

Cultural tourism, whose main character cultural heritage, has been developing from the position of buyers and sellers. The wonders of the world are considered a source of wealth, and they can be exploited from an economic point of view and also for their cultural and spiritual values. They are there for us, to be admired, to be enjoyed, and to satisfy us.

In 1972, the general conference of the organization of the United Nations for Education, Science, and Culture (UNESCO) approved the international convention for the patronage of world heritage. There, they defined the inalienability of culture and of nature as fundamental elements for the development of our society and for the world’s peace and solidarity.

UNESCO's World Heritage sites represent how we may benefit from the past and what we will give to future generations. UNESCO's aim is to catalogue and elect some of these wonders to World Heritage status, giving them protection.

Being on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage sites means to be universally recognized for peculiarities such on the cultural, social, and environmental level. All of the sites have to be universal, unique, and irreplaceable (in case of their loss) and have to satisfy at least one of the criteria fixed by the committee for World Heritage status.

Creating a World Heritage program is more than a simple collection of natural and cultural sites that are somehow in a dangerous position; it is linked to the process of creating a collective identity.

During the World Tourism Expo in Assisi, the second edition of the ”Responsible Tourism Awards,” created in 2009 to identify incoming operators, regions, and towns that organize travel with respect to the environment and culture, will be presented.

More details, along with program and participation information may be found at or by writing to .

First meeting of World Tourism Expo focuses on promotion of World Heritage towns and sites
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