• UNWTO saddened by the tragic effects of hurricane Irma , 22nd General Assembly in China

    Ramesh Tiwari
    September 9, 2017
    UNWTO saddened by the tragic effects of hurricane Irma , 22nd General Assembly in China

    TravelBizNews —

    Madrid: UN World Tourism Organization is deeply saddened by the tragic effects brought by hurricane Irma across the Caribbean.

    UNWTO is conveying a special meeting to address the impacts of hurricane Irma and the way forward on the occasion of its 22nd General Assembly taking place next week in China.

    The bi-annual event, to be held in Chengdu, China on 11-16 September, will discuss how to advance the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and define the actions of the Organization for the period 2018-2019.

    A high-level debate on tourism and the SDGs, a special session on smart tourism, the celebrations of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, the conversion of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics into an international Convention and current trends of the tourism sector are all integrated into the agenda of the 22nd session of the UNWTO General Assembly.

    The Assembly will also discuss the lines of action and key priorities of the Organization for the two coming years according to a statement issued by UNWTO. The Assembly is expected to gather over 1000 participants from around the world.

    The 22nd session of the General Assembly is the second hosted in China and the fourth in Asia and the Pacific.

    “China is not only the world’s fourth most-visited country and the first outbound market in the world; it is also an example of a country prioritizing tourism as a driver for development. The efforts of Chinese authorities to define tourism as a strategic pillar of the national economy and an effective development tool make China a fitting host for this UNWTO General Assembly“, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

    “On behalf of the international tourism community, UNWTO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims and stands ready to support the affected countries, where tourism is a pillar in the lives of so many people, to recover as swiftly as possible” said Rifai.

    “UNWTO will work alongside the affected countries in all the necessary measures to support them and trust that as in previous occasion the people of these countries will show their resilience as life gets back to normal and they open for business”.

    Meanwhile, hurricane Irma is lashing Cuba with strong winds and heavy rain after devastating several Caribbean islands according to BBC.

    In Florida, 5.6 million people, or 25% of the US state’s population, have been told to leave as the storm approaches. At least 20 people are known to have died so far across the Caribbean.

    This is the first time a category five hurricane has hit Cuba in decades. Irma had maximum sustained winds of 257km/h , the National Hurricane Center in the US said.

    Sept.9 , 2017

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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

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