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Program

Tourism: A tool for development and international understanding

Hosted by the United Nations World Tourism Organization

With more than 1.1 billion tourists crossing international borders every year, tourism is one of today’s global economic drivers, representing one in 11 jobs, 9% of GDP and 30% of services exports worldwide. Tourism is increasingly being embraced by developing and emerging economies as a way to jump-start and consolidate economic progress and inclusive development.

Tourism is, by its very nature, a powerful diplomatic tool. The combination of individual action and global economic impact feeds directly into the foreign policy sphere. More than 1 billion international tourists are part of the global engine shaping perceptions and the public image of countries. This effect is constantly being multiplied by the world’s digital literates, who amplify individual action by turning it first into social communications and then global messages. As a people-to-people activity, tourism is also a powerful communications vehicle, going hand in hand with its unrivalled socio-economic impact: hundreds of millions of travellers foster intercultural exchange and mutual understanding and peace.

The World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO) will address these issues with participants to provide practical insight into why tourism matters as part of the broader media agenda. Participants are invited to debate, engage and network with UNWTO and explore collaboration possibilities for events, specialized field trips and workshops around the world.