The 98th session of the UNWTO Executive Council
meeting in Spain highlighted the role of tourism routes in
promoting regional integration and development
further debated key factors to stimulate tourism growth such as
visa facilitation and air connectivity while recalling the role
the tourism sector can play in the sustainable development agenda.
The meeting took place last week in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Executive Council Members recalled that regional integration
translates into stronger economic development and identified
infrastructure, visa facilitation, transportation, public/private
partnerships, public sector coordination and branding as
fundamental success factors in the development of tourism routes.
“Tourism’s record figures continue to renew our confidence in
the sector, but they also remind us that with great power comes
great responsibility. The responsibility to ensure that tourism’s
growth translates into improved livelihoods and a sustainable
future for our planet and the generations to come,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate
Spain for its consolidated leadership as the third most visited
country in the world; and more significantly, as the second
country in the world in terms of income generated by international
The President of the Xunta of Galicia, Alberto
Núñez Feijóo, said, “Travel makes people better, it enriches cultures and brings out the best out of people, making
each traveler a silent ambassador.”
The 98th Executive Council held
in Spain was organized by UNWTO and the Spanish Secretariat of
Tourism of Spain, under the leadership of the Secretary of State
for Tourism, Isabel Borrego, and hosted by the Xunta de Galicia.
The meeting was attended by over 170 participants from 54 UNWTO
Members States (31 Executive Council Members and 23 observer
countries) as well as representatives of the UNWTO Associate and
On the occasion of the Council, the
UNWTO Seminar “Public-Private Partnerships: Tangible and
intangible heritage and innovative tourism products”, was
organized in collaboration with UNWTO Affiliate Member UNESCO
World Heritage Cities of Spain.
and growth of world tourism demonstrate that the sector deserves a
higher degree of attention,” said the Minister of Industry, Energy
and Tourism of Spain, José Manuel Soria, at the Opening of the
98th Executive Council Meeting. “Tourism is the main economic
sector in Spain. Eleven out of each 100 euros comes from the
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