The 38th Plenary Session of the UNWTO Affiliate Members took place in Yerevan, Armenia between 1 and 4 October. The meeting discussed the latest tourism trends, public-private collaboration and promoting good practices in the sector. The event was held in parallel with the 43rd UNWTO Affiliate Members Board meeting, which adopted the Affiliate Members 2017 Action Plan.
This year’s session comprised debates on the key issues shaping the 2017 Action Plan: the future of tourism, cultural tourism, city tourism and the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
“It is an honour to host the 38th Affiliate Members Plenary Session and to welcome all participants to Armenia. Armenia boasts an incredibly rich history and varied traditions and it is with great pride that we share them with visitors. The key to a peaceful future are these kinds of intercultural exchanges and dialogue, promoting understanding and friendship as well as public and private partnerships” underlined Mr. Garegin Melkonyan, First Deputy Minister of Economy of Armenia.
During the meeting, Affiliate Members shared information on their role, goals, new projects, challenges and expectations in the context of public-private collaboration and global tourism.
“This meeting is very significant as it is held at a crucial time in the development of tourism. The sector is dealing with numerous exogenous shocks, including seismic economic changes and terror, which have heightened uncertainty and invite serious consideration on possible solutions. Tourism has a pivotal role to play in tackling these global problems as one of the most inclusive and resilient sectors in the world,” said Edmund Bartlett, Chairman of the Board of the Affiliate Members, Representative of Consolidated Tourism and Investment Consultants Limited (CTICO).
“We are very pleased to be meeting in Armenia. Armenia is one of many examples of great potential in tourism; it holds extraordinary natural assets and unique cultural diversity and traditions, and this immense potential has started to translate into strong tourism results,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
The event also featured three inspirational lectures by recognized experts:
– The Future of Tourism, by Professor Eduardo Fallos-Solá, Ulysses Foundation
– Marketing Innovation in Tourism, by Professor Luiz Moutinho, DCU Business School, Dublin City University, Ireland
– New Niches in Cultural Tourism: the Archaeoastronimical Context, by Dr. Clive Ruggles, University of Leicester, United Kingdom
The 500 UNWTO Affiliate Members represents the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.