• Japan and UNWTO commit to work for tourism development

    Ramesh Tiwari
    March 23, 2017
    Japan and UNWTO commit to work for tourism development

    TravelBizNews Desk —

    Tokyo: Japan and UN World Tourism Organization have committed to work for tourism development.

    According to a statement issued by UNWTO, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Taleb Rifai, applauded Japan’s commitment to tourism development as one of the significant pillars of the socio-economic agenda during a recent official visit to Japan.

    Rifai welcomed Japan’s Action Program for Tourism focused on infrastructure development, visa facilitation and technology. 

    “Japan will continue to promote tourism and stress its great potential in people to people understanding as well as its important role in rural area development”, said Prime Minister Abe.

    On the occasion, Rifai presented Prime Minister Abe with the Open Letter on Travel and Tourism, an initiative jointly led by UNWTO and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to advocate tourism and its role to the development of nations.

    He congratulated Prime Minister Abe on the impressive development of the tourism sector since he took office in 2013 and highlighted the potential that tourism has to bring development to all the areas of Japan.

    In 2016, Japan received 24 million international tourists, an increase of 22% as compared to 2015. Japan set as a target to increase the number of foreign tourists to 40 million by 2020, and to 60 million by 2030.

    “Japan is showing a clear leadership in tourism development by placing tourism high in its socio-economic agenda. We thank Prime Minister Abe for its vision and leadership and look forward to continuing working with Japan to achieve its set target of 40 million international tourists by 2020”, said MrRifai. 

    David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “Japan is a country which has long recognized the power of our sector to drive economic growth. Travel & Tourism contributes 7.4% to the country’s GDP and generates over 4.5 million jobs, or 6.9% of total employment in the country. Japan ranks 4th in the world for Travel & Tourism GDP. We encourage the government to continue its great efforts to stimulate Japan’s Travel & Tourism sector, focusing on creating products to attract new markets and continuing to invest in infrastructure to absorb future demand in the country.”

    Rifai also met the Governor of Yamagata Prefecture, Mieko Yoshimura, to announce the forthcoming UNWTO Conference on Tourism and Snow-Related Activities, to be held in February 2018.

    The event is aimed at supporting the recovery of the Tohoku region (Northern) from the 2011 earthquake. It is also part of the efforts of UNWTO to support Japan in diversifying its tourism offer to less known tourism areas.

    The visit was also an occasion to inaugurate the Tokyo Liaison Office of the UNWTO Regional Support Office for Asia and the Pacific(RSOAP)based in Nara in the presence of the 17 UNWTO Affiliate Members of Japan and 200 key tourism leaders and stakeholders.

    Besides his encounter with Prime Minister Abe, MrRifai held meetings with Mr. Yoshihiro Nikai, Secretary-General of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Mr. Keiichi Ishii, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Mr. Nobuo Kishi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mr. Akihiko Tamura, Commissioner of Japan Tourism Agency (MLIT), all of whom expressed their support to the tourism sector and the work of UNWTO.

    On the occasion, UNWTO Secretary-General also addressed the research commission for the establishment of a tourism oriented nation of the LDP and met with the representatives of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), the Japan Travel and Tourism Association (JTTA), JTB Corp., TOYO University, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Gurunavi Inc. and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

    JICA and UNWTO recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through tourism with a particular focus in assisting developing countries to reduce poverty through tourism as well as to improve public policies and business practices.

    March 21 ,2017

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      What they say

      Tourism is a people’s sector. One in 10 people in the world are directly or indirectly employed by tourism. Ours is the responsibility to ensure that tourism benefits each and every community, leaving no one behind.
      Tourism’s sustained growth brings immense opportunities for economic welfare and development. Yet, it also brings in many challenges. Adapting our sector to the challenges of safety and security, to constant market changes, to digitalization and the limits of our natural resources should be priorities in our common action.
      As we move towards a future guided by the universal 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), I take upon me to lead UNWTO with a strong focus on building partnerships with public and private sector, fostering jobs and opportunities for all, mastering technology and innovation and advancing sustainability and the fight against climate change.
      I trust that, together with our Member States and our partners from around the world, we can build a more competitive and responsible tourism sector for the benefit of all. I wish you a very happy 2018.
      Zurab Pololikashvili
      UNWTO Secretary-General

      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
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      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

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