UNWTO Ministerial Summit at WTM London: A record today!

UNWTO Ministerial Summit at WTM London: A record today!


At the World Travel  Market in London today a busy 2nd day began. A packed UNWTO ministerial summit took place at 11.00 am today.

It was also the last ministerial UNWTO summit current UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai attended. His words took a dominant role in setting the stage for today’s discussion. According to the CNN Moderator, this was the best attended ministerial summit except for the UNWTO General Assembly.

Taleb Rifai  identified current global challenges for tourism  as
1) safety and security
2) IT and technology challenges
3) Sustainability

One out of 6 of every person on earth is travel internationally once year. This makes 1.8. Billion people traveling internationally. Travel is a human right according to Rifau.

Mr. Rifai appealed to use growth to our advantage as a power of good.

His stage setting set up a discussion of “over tourism”.
Recently population in Barcelona protested against tourism in their city. Mr. Rifai noticed tourism in the heart of Barcelona and just 5 km away you won’t find tourists.

According to Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, Mexico minister of tourism for his country the key is to expand tourism destinations in countries to spread tourism opportunities.

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The British Minister of Tourism thought overcrowding is a nice problem to have. He said it’s better to control crowds instead of not having them at all.

On the discussion was also AIR B&B. A citizen renting a room to a tourist was overall supported, but operating a B&B with many rooms and no hotel type regulations was not accepted and criticized by the CEO of Carlson Rezidor hotels.

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