• 120 countries participate in UNWTO General Assembly

    Ramesh Tiwari
    September 15, 2015
    120 countries participate in UNWTO General Assembly

    TBN Report —

    Medellín, Colombia- The 21st Session of the UNWTO General Assembly opened in Medellín, Colombia, in the presence of President Juan Manuel Santos with participation of 900 delegates from 120 countries , including 70 Ministers and Secretaries of State for Tourism.

    President Santos , in his opening speech,emphasized Colombia’s vast tourism offer and the country’s commitment to share it with the world in a sustainable manner:

    “We give tremendous importance to tourism in our development plans and in our economy. The participants gathered here today know more than anyone how tourism can boost countries and be an agent of social transformation. In Colombia, so much so, that tourism now is our second largest source of foreign exchange, surpassed only by oil. Indeed, with falling prices on oil and coal, we are looking to replace the income from these smokestack industries with more environmentally friendly ones, such as tourism”.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who greeted the participants in a video message, welcomed the Assembly theme – ‘fostering inclusive development and social transformation’ – and stressed that “As one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the world economy, tourism makes vital contributions to employment generation, poverty reduction, women´s empowerment, environmental preservation and peace building “ .

    UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, praised Colombia’s commitment to tourism as well as the country’s remarkable transformation into one of the America´s fastest growing tourism destinations, Mr. Rifai underscored how tourism, alongside it’s economic weight, also has the power to generate significant social benefits: “Only those that understand the connection between tourism and peace can appreciate the real value of travel and tourism”, said Mr. Rifai.

    Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) highlighted the close relationship between tourism and air transport: “In 2014, some 53% of tourists travel by air to reach their international destinations. We must recognize the important fact that divergent policies for air transport and tourism ultimately hinder economic development”.

    Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality of Zimbabwe and co-chair of the 20th UNWTO General Assembly, called upon the Assembly to “emerge from Medellín with a greater resolve on how to protect our sector from all forms of threats and confirm it as a diplomatic bridge that connects people to people”.

    UNWTO and ICAO enhance cooperation in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

    Meanwhile,UNWTO and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have announced a new joint strategic statement on Tourism and Air Transport for Development.

    The Medellín Statement was agreed at the first joint UNWTO/ICAO High-Level Forum on Tourism and Air Transport for Development, held on the sidelines of the 21st UNWTO General Assembly in Medellin, Colombia. It highlights the potential of air transport and tourism to improving socio-economic prosperity and promote sustainable development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) expected to be agreed at the United Nations SDG Summit next week in New York.

    “ICAO and the UNWTO have been actively engaged for some time in maximizing the cooperative opportunities for aviation and tourism,” stressed ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu when opening the UNWTO General Assembly. “These efforts have been aided by our private sector engagement through the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), and they are critical to realizing both the long-term economic growth and prosperity benefits for States and the related targets in the UN SDGs.” – UNWTO 

    Sept .14, 2015

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      News Brief

      Kabul: Afghan security forces have regained control of Intercontinental Hotel, hours after the gunmen burst into the hotel shooting at guests and staff. At least five civilians were killed and six were injured in the siege. Three of the attackers have been killed and more than 150 guests were rescued. No group has said it carried out the attack, but the Taliban targeted the Intercontinental hotel in 2011.

      Beijing: China’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2017 according to official data – the first time in seven years the pace of growth has picked up. The figure beats Beijing’s official annual expansion target of about 6.5%. Gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 82.71 trillion yuan (about 12.84 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2017, with the service sector accounting for more than half of the total.

      Shanghai: China Eastern Airlines and other domestic airlines have begun to allow mobile phone use on their aircraft or announced plans to lift a ban. China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines began to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices (PED), such as smartphones and tablets.China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines announced they would allow mobile phone use on all their flights this week. – Agencies

      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

      Wildlife in Chitawan , Nepal

      Window of Nepal Tourism

      http://www.nepaltournews.com/