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A Conversation with UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai on Millennials, Tourism and Peace

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millennials 57ee6c0e1700003f07ac86bc

I’m in Yerevan, Armenia, for the opening day of the annual meeting of companies and organizations who are part of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Affiliate Programme. UNWTO, the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism, is responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism worldwide. At this meeting delegates from around the globe will be discussing trends, best practices and transformative ideas, with a special focus on the upcoming 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. I’m here as part of the delegation from Hostelling International, which is a Vice Chair of the Affiliate Group.

UNWTO’s leader is Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. He is widely recognized for his inclusive, forward looking efforts to build a travel and tourism sector that embraces economic, environmental and social aims. In this first of a two part interview, he speaks about millennials, tourism and peace. By Russ Hedge. Read more.



tourism as a driver of peace_WTTC2

Image Source: WTTC

Travel & Tourism has often been recognised for its ability to drive peace, security and understanding. World leaders, from John F Kennedy to Bill Clinton to Tony Blair, have highlighted the importance of the sector.  Now, for the first time, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has partnered with the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) to explore the links between tourism and peace. By WTTC. Read more.

Copyright @ WTTC 2016


Working Together Through Times of War and Conflict

Categories: Green Tips
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migrant shift from the warMost recently our news pages have been covered in stories concerning the migrant shift from the war-torn countries of the middle-east, to Europe and beyond. We are told the horrific tales of the innocent bystanders who have fled their homes in search of safety and brighter prospects for their children. We have recently posted some inspiring articles on how the tourism industry has helped and can continue to help these immigrants.

With such a current example at hand, we can see here and now how war devastates a country, and shuts it off completely from the benefits that the tourism industry can bring. Besides this, these regions often take decades to recover, environmentally, economically, socially, and psychologically. This Saturday, on the 5th of November, the United Nations celebrates the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. Let’s band together and encourage each other to be hospitable to those visiting our countries. One day, it may be one of us benefiting from the beauty of theirs. If you’re interested in reading more about how conflict affects tourism, click here.

For information about other ways in which you can help people in and from war zones, read this. Providing food, donations, and homes are just some of the inputs you may want to contribute to.