Travel News - Latest Travel News


Strong interest shown in First World Conference on Tourism Communications, TOURCOM

Travel News Asia 17 December 2003

The interest shown by the international tourism community in the First World Conference on Tourism Communications, TOURCOM, has exceeded the expectations of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), which is organizing the event. TOURCOM will be held on 29-30 January 2004 in Madrid, Spain.

The Organizing Committee has received almost 800 participation forms from 90 countries as of mid-December. The number of participants will therefore far exceed the 500 delegates initially expected. The WTO said it is especially pleased with the high level of interest received from national tourism administrations, tourist boards, the private sector and the media from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. TOURCOM will coincide with days 2 and 3 of one of the world's leading travel exhibitions, FITUR, which will also take place at Madrid's IFEMA Fairgrounds.

"Efficient tourism communications, including public and media relations, promotion and branding, will play a crucial role in future tourism development," said WTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli. "With this Conference, the WTO aims to upgrade existing public-private partnership, which we have been advocating for some years now, with the inclusion of a third party - the media." Stressing the positive role the media play in favour of international tourism flows, Mr. Frangialli underlined that "the tourism-media relationship needs new standards, based on independence and mutual respect".

"The Conference will be a decisive event for the international tourism community," continued Mr. Frangialli. "In a time when tourism, one of the most resilient economic branches, is bouncing back from the deepest crisis in its history, highly professional tourism communications seem more important than ever. We are obliged and committed to lead the way in this endeavour, so we have prepared the global tourism communications campaign 'Tourism Enriches', which we will launch at the beginning of TOURCOM."

A list of more than thirty prominent speakers from seventeen countries, representing national tourism administrations and organizations, the private sector, and the media will have the chance and the responsibility to share the latest know-how in tourism communications. Among the speakers is the host of "CNN Business Traveller" and CNN business news anchor Richard Quest, Director-General of the Maison de la France Thierry Baudier, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Tourism Task Force Christopher Brown, and President of the World Travel and Tourism Council Jean-Claude Baumgarten, while Richard Lewis will speak on cross-cultural communications, Rolf Jensen on the "dream society" and Richard Tibbott on destination branding. Special attention will be given to crisis communications and communicating sustainable and ethical tourism, which is of particular concern to the sector.

Within TOURCOM, the WTO has prepared a special programme for national tourism administrations and organizations to promote their destinations, including a media marketplace and premiere screenings of promotional videos.

The Conference is supported by Spain's Ministry of Economy - Secretariat of Tourism, the Madrid Tourist Board and the FITUR travel fair. TOURCOM's general media sponsor is CNN.

The WTO will take advantage of the event to celebrate its newly acquired status as a specialized agency of the United Nations. The UN General Assembly is expected to give its final approval of the transformation by the end of December.

Subscribe to our Travel Industry News RSS Feed Travel Industry News RSS Feed from To do that in Outlook, right-click the RSS Feeds folder, select Add a New RSS Feed, enter the URL of our RSS Feed which is: and click Add. The feed can also be used to add the headlines to your website or channel via a customisable applet. Have questions? Please read our Travel News FAQ. Thank you.

Copyright © 1997-2023