‘Overtourism’ under spotlight at WTM

UNWTO & WTM summit to debate topical issue
The topical issue of ‘overtourism’ is on the agenda at the UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit debate in London in November.
It became a hot topic during the summer, with media reports from Europe and around the world speaking of ‘tourism-phobia’ and citizens protesting against the ‘invasion of tourists’ and the expulsion of locals by tourism businesses.
“Managing the growing number of visitors to many popular areas of our planet, including cities, is crucial for both hosts and visitors, both international and domestic,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai introducing the topic up for discussion at WTM London on Tuesday November 7.
“Growth is not the enemy. Growing numbers are not the enemy. Growth is the eternal story of mankind. Tourism growth can and should lead to economic prosperity, jobs and resources to fund environmental protection and cultural preservation, as well as community development and progress needs, which would otherwise not be available.
“Yet ensuring that tourism is an enriching experience for visitors and hosts alike, demands strong, sustainable tourism policies, practices and the engagement of national as well as local governments and administrations, private sector companies, local communities and tourists themselves.”
This will also be the key theme of World Responsible Tourism Day, touted as the largest day of responsible tourism action in the world, on November 8, and will feature throughout the responsible tourism program across all three days of WTM London.
More than 1.2 billion international tourists crossed the globe in 2016 and this is expected to grow to 1.8 billion by 2030. Tourism generates 10% of the world’s gross domestic product, is responsible for one in every 10 jobs and 30% of world trade in services, making it central to many countries’ economies and people’s livelihoods.
TTG Nordic

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