“A unique opportunity to get the sector united towards the common goal of making tourism a true driver of sustainable development.” This is how the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, described the forthcoming UNWTO General Assembly. The bi-annual event, which takes place in Chengdu, China on 11-16 September, will discuss how to advance the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and define the actions of the Organization for the period 2018-2019.
“This General Assembly gives us a unique opportunity to take key decisions that will guide us towards making a strong contribution to the future of people and planet,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. “The UNWTO General Assembly constitutes the most relevant meeting of global tourism leaders and therefore we should capitalize on this occasion. Tourism is at a crossroads. This Assembly is our opportunity to strengthen our sector in view of the changes it faces.” he added. A high-level debate on tourism and the SDGs, a special session on smart tourism and the celebrations of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 are all integrated into the agenda of the UNWTO General Assembly.
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai This 22nd session of the General Assembly is the second hosted in China and the fourth in Asia and the Pacific. “China is not only the world’s fourth most-visited country and the first outbound market in the world; it is also an example of a country prioritizing tourism as a driver for development. The efforts of Chinese authorities to define tourism as a strategic pillar of the national economy and an effective development tool make China a fitting host for this UNWTO General Assembly“, said Rifai.
eTurboNews will be represented at the UNWTO General Assembly meeting through its publisher, Juergen T. Steinmetz, and Christian del Rosario, official photographer.