The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.

UNWTO Madrid, Spain. The first venue of the first UNWTO assembly to ever take place in 1975

UNWTO Madrid, Spain. The venue of the first UNWTO assembly to ever take place in 1975

UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development.

UNWTO generates market knowledge, promotes competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments, fosters tourism education and training, and works to make tourism an effective tool for development through technical assistance projects in over 100 countries around the world.

UNWTO’s membership includes 156 countries, 6 Associate Members and over 400 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.

Fast facts about tourism:
Tourism contribution to global GDP 5% directly
Amount of tourism related jobs created worldwide Approx. 235 million
Amount of money generated by tourists US$1.03 billion
Number of International tourist in 2011 983 million
Estimated number of International tourists by 2030 1.8 billion
Percentage of the world’s exports of services 30%


UNWTO Gyeongju, the last UNWTO congress to take place in 2011

UNWTO Gyeongju, the last UNWTO congress to take place in 2011

Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening ‎diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. ‎Modern tourism is closely linked to development and encompasses growing numbers ‎of new destinations. These dynamics have turned tourism into a key driver for socio-‎economic progress.

Tourism has become one of the major players in ‎international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income ‎sources for many developing countries. This growth goes hand in hand with an ‎increasing diversification and competition among destinations.

The General Assembly is the supreme organ of the Organization. Its ordinary ‎sessions, held every two years, are attended by delegates of the Full and Associate ‎Members, as well as representatives from the Business Council.‎

It is the most important meeting of senior tourism officials and high-level ‎representatives of the private sector from all over the world.

Previous sessions where the UNWTO general assemblies have been held are listed below.





Madrid, Spain May 1975


Torremolinos, Spain May/June 1977


Torremolinos, Spain September 1979


Rome, Italy September 1981


New Delhi, India October 1983


Sofia, Bulgaria September 1985


Madrid, Spain September/October 1987


Paris, France August/September 1989


Buenos Aires, Argentina September/October 1991


Bali, Indonesia October 1993


Cairo, Egypt October 1995


Istanbul, Turkey October 1997


Santiago, Chile September/October 1999


Seoul, Republic of Korea September 2001


Bejing, China October 2003


Dakar, Senegal November/December 2005


Cartagena de Indias, Colombia November 2007


Astana, Kazakhstan October 2009


Gyeongju, Republic of Korea October 2011

Next   session

Zambia/Zimbabwe 24th -29th   August 2013


Last year Zimbabwe was awarded the right to jointly host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly with Zambia.

IUNWTO general assembly 2013t will measure the commitment of other pillars in the hexagon of branding whose performance is critical for success and these include inter alia; investment and immigration, exports, governance, arts and culture and of course people.

This prestigious event in 2013 will be held in Victoria Falls and Livingstone and will bring the tourism chiefs of no less than 176 countries to our area. This is our opportunity to showcase Victoria Falls to the world, the wonderful and unique story that the sub-region has – unparalleled peace, warm welcoming people, fascinating cultural heritage and unsurpassed wildlife in pristine environments.

Officials say over 4 000 foreign guests, including 1 500 delegates to the event, are expected to flood the two host towns — Victo­ria Falls and Livingstone in Zambia — in August this year.

UNWTO 2013This will be Zimbabwe and Zambia’s ultimate endorsement by the international community as key African States on the socio, economic and political global landscape.

UNWTO inspectors are satisfied with the preparations for this year’s UNWTO General Assembly and believe it will be one you should not miss.

To view the UNWTO 2013 Programme click here.

To view UNWTO Visa Information click here.

To view the general information about this years UNWTO general assembly click here.


By: 5VictoriaFalls24

Date: 4 July 2013