“The important work the UNWTO has carried out this difficult year and the support it has given to all regions”, are the two main points highlighted by the President of the 113th Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization, the Chilean José Luis Uriarte, in the communication that convenes the meeting on 18 and 19 January in Madrid.
The President of the Council highlights that, in the last three years, the UNWTO has given a great impulse to innovation in the tourism sector. In this sense, he highlights initiatives in Competitiveness, in Innovation and Digital Transformation, in Ethics and Social Responsibility and in Technical Cooperation, among other fields.
Uriarte mentions the support “to thousands of entrepreneurs with start-up competitions” as one of the main innovations introduced by Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili, with the aim of promoting the modernization of the sector and supporting millions of people whose jobs depend on tourism.
In 2018, the UNWTO launched its Strategy on Innovation and Digital Transformation, “with the aim of creating an ecosystem that maximizes the potential of the sector in terms of economic growth, job creation and sustainable development”.
The strategy allowed the creation of the UNWTO Innovation Network to “unify the main centres of innovation in a network dedicated to connecting and maximizing” the progress of tourism enterprises in the different UNWTO member countries. The Tourism Tech Adventures Forum was also launched, which has organized camps for startups and investors, competitions for newly created companies and networking sessions between companies.
This framework also includes the alliance with Eightfold Talent Exchange, a platform that will connect workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with available jobs; or with Sommet Education, for the launch of the “Challenge of the Hotel Industry”, which aims to train young entrepreneurs to develop their projects.