Roadmap for recovery – sustainable tourism in challenging times


More than a hundred tourism ministers and senior government officials are to meet at this year’s World Travel Market in London to address the most far-reaching and challenging global environment ever experienced by the travel and tourism industry.

The high-level, third annual United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ministers’ Summit is on Tuesday, November 10 at ExCeL – London, hosted by World Travel Market. Delegates will be able to follow the talks on giant screens in the Central Boulevard.

Crucially, the summit will assess the effects of the economic crisis on the industry and examine new solutions to overcome serious long-term issues such as climate change and poverty.

“UNWTO figures for 2009 indicate a continuation of the negative growth already experienced in the second half of 2008,” said Mr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO’s Secretary General Elect. “Destinations across the globe have suffered from a decrease in demand in all major source markets.

“UNWTO is currently in the process of monitoring and evaluating response actions to counter the effects of the crisis on tourism. These actions include fiscal and monetary measures, increased marketing and promotion efforts, and international cooperation, as reflected in the ‘Initial Assessment on Tourism and Economic Stimulus’ report.

“A Roadmap for Recovery is also being developed by the UNWTO, a set of guidelines to help tourism stakeholders navigate through the crisis. With the right guidance, the sector can not only recover but also play an important role on a global level.”

“Governments, ministers, and the private sector have a mountain to climb in the next few years, realigning policies and business strategies that meet the demands of a very different world to the one we have known,” said Fiona Jeffery, chairman of World Travel Market. “A world where sustainability is placed at the very heart of everything we do.

“The UNWTO Ministers’ Summit at World Travel Market is very significant for travel and tourism this year, helping to secure a roadmap for the future.”

UNWTO and WTM will bring together ministers and leading tourism experts to determine the best course of action for the industry. The summit will have three output-oriented debate panels, dealing with key considerations and actively engaging public and private stakeholders:

– Tourism: Tracking the Global Economic Crisis – focus on the impact of national responses to the crisis.

– Positioning Travel & Tourism in the Global Agenda – focus on tourism in the G20 and in relation to sustainable development.

– The Way Forward, Future Challenges & the Transformation to a Green Economy – focus on the post-crisis industry, relevant structural changes, and the need to pursue a green agenda.