Innovation, technology top Europe’s tourism agenda
The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has stressed the increasing importance of tourism and technology providing opportunities for innovation and creating the jobs of the future.
The topic was a key element at UNWTO’s 63rd European Commission meeting, which was held in Prague last week.
As UNWTO and its European Member States gathered to set the agenda for the region, secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili described the organisation’s intention to make innovation part of the solution to the challenge of marrying continued growth with a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector.
In a strategic discussion on innovation and the digital transformation, Pololikashvili made clear his vision to create an ecosystem of government policies, funds and strategic projects that nurture disruptive ideas and entrepreneurship, for which he enlisted the help of Member States and private sector members in the region.
“Together we can set a vision that considers tourism as a policy priority, a knowledge creator and innovator, and a sector of maximum value for all,” he said.
This year’s World Tourism Day, on 27 September, will focus on tourism and the digital transformation. Celebrations will take place in Budapest, Hungary and worldwide.
Also at the meeting, UNWTO outlined plans for improving skills, education and specialised tourism training under the newly-launched UNWTO.Academy, and reaffirmed its engagement with Europe to face safety and sustainability challenges related to managing large tourist numbers.