26 June, 2:00 p.m., Annex
Hosted by The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
If globalization is the process by which the world is becoming increasingly interconnected then surely tourism - a sector which will see one billion tourists cross international borders in 2012 - is one of its clearest manifestations, and it is here to stay.
In an ever more global economy, tourism matters. The sector is one of the largest and fastest growing in the world, responsible for one of every 12 jobs worldwide and directly representing 5% of global GDP.
But what does tourism mean for cultural diversity? Tourism is centered on exchanges between peoples of different walks of life and is at heart a celebration of our differences.
Globalization must be understood as a means to improve economic collaboration and international understanding, but not at the cost of diluting the rich cultural diversity present in our world. In this respect, travel and tourism can and must play a key role.
Principal Media Officer, United Nations World Tourism Organization, Madrid, Spain