LONDON, United Kingdom – As international tourism nears the historic milestone of one billion tourists, UNWTO will be holding a number of activities at World Travel Market (WTM) to address some of the major issues facing tourism in a world of one billion.
UNWTO AND WTM MINISTERS’ SUMMIT
Open Borders and Open Skies: breaking barriers to travel (November 6)
The 2012 WTM&UNWTO Ministers’ Summit at WTM will seek to shed light on how countries can effectively cooperate to advance visa facilitation and promote increased connectivity. Tourism Ministers and industry leaders attending the Summit, including the Ministers of Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, as well as the CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Chairman of the Executive Board of TUI, will debate:
– existing obstacles to the sustained growth of travel and tourism,
– success stories of visa facilitation and the impact on demand and jobs, and
– current air transport policies and measures necessary to advance towards a better connected world.
Charles Hodson, anchor of CNN International’s flagship business program, “World Business Today,” will moderate the Summit.
UNWTO SILK ROAD ACTIVITIES
The Silk Road program, a UNWTO initiative designed to enhance tourism along the historic Silk Road route, will offer a variety of activities during WTM.
Representatives of the Silk Road Member States will convene at the Second Silk Road Task Force Meeting (November 7) to determine key strategies and actions for the Silk Road in 2013 (by invitation only). The UNWTO/WTM Silk Road Cha@llenge for Bloggers returns in 2012, challenging leading travel-bloggers to create the best blog on the Silk Road. A new addition to the event program will be The Silk Road in 40 minutes (November 8), an interactive workshop where a social media expert will help Silk Road destinations and tour operators build personalized blogs and campaigns in just 40 minutes. Silk Road exhibitors will again have the opportunity to meet with potential buyers at the Silk Road Tour Operators Speed Networking Event (November 5).
Further UNWTO activities at WTM include the seminar, Green Innovation in Tourism: Enhancing competiveness and reducing costs (November 8) at which UNWTO will present its online toolkit, Hotel Energy Solutions. Following its launch in 2011, this free online toolkit has been helping hotels to reduce their carbon footprint while increasing business profits. Hotel owners will be on hand to share their experiences on how the e-toolkit is helping their hotels go green.