Tourism is a major source of income for many nations throughout the world. Popular travel destinations such as The U.S, Australia, and Africa attract thousands of travelers from different countries for Spring Break, summer vacation, winter breaks, and other special occasions every year. The United Nations World Tourism Organization is the agency that helps ensure tourism is safe, accessible and a growing economic resource for everyone. The UNWTO General Assembly is the opportunity for the agency, Full and Associate Member delegates, and Business Council representatives to meet up and discuss challenges, opportunities, and the general state of global tourism. This year, the event will be held in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The UNWTO helps countries improve their tourism strategies through educating them on responsible tourism, and helps promote events that highlight different tourist destinations. In an effort to create a more uniform approach to tourism, the UNWTO encourages countries to implement a Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
The tourism code of ethics helps to keep tourism sustainable and socially responsible for UNWTO members. Due to tourism’s effect on global relations, the UNWTO wants to make sure that visitors get to experience the best every member country has to offer. In total, the UNWTO has 155 member countries, 6 Associate Members, and more than 400 affiliate Members who represent for educational institutions, tourism associations, and the private sector. All of these members are stakeholders in global tourism and promote the UNWTO agency’s message.
The event will consist of elections of auditors and council members, a discussion about World Tourism Day and tourism ethics, and much more.
For the 20th General Assembly, both Zambia and Zimbabwe came to an agreement to host the 5 day event together in their two towns that border each other—Victoria Falls and Livingstone. Both countries have become increasingly popular tourism spots due to Africa’s fast growing economy and the beautiful environment.
The General Assembly will help the Southern region of Africa gain even more international attention. In an interview with News Day last year, Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi said this of the event’s impact on Zimbabwe, “This will be Zimbabwe’s ultimate endorsement by the international community as a key African State on the socio, economic and political global landscape. Of course this event will stimulate a number of legacy projects that include construction of a world-class international convention centre with so many associated ancillary developments.”
The General Assembly will also be a great opportunity for local small businesses. Thousands are expected to be in attendance which will supply ample business to local hotels, restaurants, and touring companies. Both Zimbabwe and Zambia have garnered reputations for being popular spots for fun activities. Livingstone is often referred to as the Adventure Centre of Southern Africa.
The assembly will begin on August 24th and end on the 29th. The event is not only important for the tourism industry. The issues discussed throughout the General Assembly have an effect on the world economy as a whole which includes all industries and individuals.
Eran Feinstein is the founder of DPO. DPO provides global e-commerce and online payments solutions for the travel and related industries He is a leading authority in the fields of e-commerce, travel and payments, having acquired extensive experience from various parts of the world.