UN Secretary General has a message to the world on World Tourism Day

Tourism needs innovation in technology to realize its potential contributions

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In his message for the Day, Secretary-General António Guterres said the wide reach of tourism into many sectors, from infrastructure and energy to transport and sanitation, and its huge impact on job creation, make it a vital contributor to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the same time, tourism plays a “pivotal” role in advancing the cultural understanding and bringing people together.

The United Nations is marking this year’s World Tourism Day by exploring how technological advances such as big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms can contribute to the way people travel and foster innovation in the tourism industry.

“Yet tourism needs innovation in technology to realize its potential contributions,” the Secretary-General added, adding that its benefits need to flow to host communities.

“On World Tourism Day, I call on governments to support digital technologies that can transform the way we travel, reduce the environmental burden of tourism and bring the benefits of tourism to all.”

“The digital transformation is about providing benefits to all, and we are making sure that tourism contributes to this global commitment,” said Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Tourism has become one of the fastest growing and most important economic sectors in the world, according to the Madrid-based World Tourism Organization UNWTO, with international tourist arrivals having grown from 25 million in 1950 to nearly 1.3 billion today. The sector represents an estimated 10 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 1 in 10 jobs globally.

UNWTO expects that tourism will continue to grow at an average of 3 per cent annually until 2030, as more people have access to travel thanks to the decline in the price of transport, especially air transport, and growing middle classes worldwide.

The digital transformation is about providing benefits to all, and we are making sure that tourism contributes to this global commitment,” said Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

SOURCEUNWO
Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.