News

29 March 2017 International Tourists to the European Union reach almost half a billion in 2016
International tourist arrivals to the European Union increased by 4% in 2016, reaching almost 500 million or 40% of the world’s total. This preliminary result is included in the first release of the ‘European Union Short-Term Tourism Trends’, a regular monitoring of EU tourism by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in the framework of the cooperation with the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROWTH) of the European Commission (EC). 
24 March 2017 New technologies key for Europe’s tourism leadership
Tourism experts as well as political and private sector representatives met in Madrid to discuss the challenges and opportunities offered by new technologies in order to continue advancing in areas such as the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector in Europe. The conference, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Amadeus IT Group and the European Parliament, took place in the Office of the European Parliament in Spain. 
23 March 2017 Innovation and technology, keys to increasing the competitiveness and sustainability of tourism in Europe
Europe is the most visited region on the planet. However, European tourism is undergoing significant changes brought about by the digitalization of the economy. Today's traveller demands new experiences, new products and greater connectivity, factors that determine the competitiveness of tourist destinations. In order to meet these challenges, it is necessary to define a common ground for the future of tourism based on competition, sustainability targets, information security and the use of big data. To discuss this issue and share experiences, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Amadeus IT Group and the European Parliament will hold a conference on 24 March at the Office of the European Parliament in Spain.  
21 February 2017 Innovation, technology and sustainability - pillars of Smart Destinations
Over three days (15-17 February) more than 100 speakers from 20 countries convened in Murcia, Spain to present solutions and experiences for ‘smart destinations’. The 1st UNWTO World Conference on Smart Destinations was organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and the Digital Agenda of Spain and the Region of Murcia. 
14 February 2017 Portugal commits to the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017
Portugal has committed to partnering with the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017. The commitment was presented to UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, during his recent official visit to Portugal. Among the initiatives to celebrate the Year, Portugal is promoting the rehabilitation of historical buildings in the interior of the country and routes through natural areas.
6 February 2017 Murcia to host the 1st UNWTO World Conference on Smart Destinations
To advance and shape a tourism model for the 21st century based on innovation, technology, sustainability and accessibility – these are the aims of the World Conference on Smart Destinations to be held in Murcia on 15-17 February, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda of Spain, and the Region of Murcia. 
30 January 2017 UNWTO welcomes 5-day visa-free policy by Belarus to citizens of 80 states
UNWTO has expressed its full support to the decision of the Government of Belarus to launch the 5-day visa-free policy that will be applicable to travelers from 80 countries. The measure aims at advancing seamless travel and attracting visitors, particularly those in business trips. 
18 January 2017 The World Tourism Organization begins the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain presided over the event celebrating the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The gathering was attended by ministers of tourism from around the world. The celebration highlighted tourism’s enormous potential to contribute to the development of all countries within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the need to continue advancing towards a more sustainable sector that generates benefits to local communities and promotes the conservation of cultural values and natural heritage.  
4 January 2017 FITUR 2017: UNWTO with a focus on sustainability and tourism in Africa and in the MENA region
The International Tourism Fair in Spain (FITUR), taking place on January 18-22 in Madrid, comprises a number of events organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Activities will have a special focus on sustainable tourism, including the official presentation of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 on January 18.
3 January 2017 The Year Ahead: harnessing the power of tourism to build a better world
Dear friends, I write to you as I begin my final year as UNWTO Secretary-General, a position I have been privileged to hold for almost seven years at an Agency I have been proud to serve for the past decade. During this time I have seen tourism become one of the world’s most important and impactful socio-economic sectors of our times. I have seen its growing relevance to the lives of millions around the world, to the preservation of our common values and to greater understanding among people of all walks of life.