World tourism chiefs meet in Malaga to discuss global security and sustainability

2016-05-16 07:00:00

The Costa del Sol was the focus of attention for the global travel industry this week as the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) met at Malaga’s Palacio de Congresos.
Around 250 representatives from 50 countries, including 18 tourism ministers, took part in a carefully coordinated round of meetings and visits to some of the area’s main attractions. The Madrid-based UNWTO is part of the United Nations and has 157 member countries. This was the first time that this twice-yearly Executive Council meeting had been held in Spain since 1975.
The main points on the agenda for this summit were security, sustainabilty and use of new technologies. Delegates agreed measures to help countries do more to make tourists’ trips safer and more pleasant, against a background of increased security concerns in some classic travel destinations, especially the eastern Mediterranean. As the Spanish tourism minister, Isabel Borrego pointed out, “80% of travellers consider security as important or very important”.
Representatives also prepared action plans for 2017, which has been designated by the UN as International Year of Sustainable Tourism. This year-long event will be launched at FITUR, Madrid’s annual travel trade fair, next January.
Overall, delegates said that the Malaga meeting was one of the most successful so far. UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, thanked local people and highlighted “the excellent organisation by a city that enriches the soul and offers a unique experience, not seen elsewhere in the world”.
Luxor (Egypt) is the next host.source surinenglish