Tourism’s Ability to Foster Inclusive Development and Social Transformation will be the Focus of the 21st Session of the UNWTO General Assembly Meeting in Medellín, Colombia (12-17 September 2015). The Assembly takes places at a most dynamic time for the tourism sector. With five consecutive years of robust growth, tourism has been a major contributor to the economic recovery in many parts of the world, generating foreign earnings, employment and investment. In 2014, despite several challenges, international tourism reached new records with 1,133 million tourists travelling the world and contributing US$ 1.5 trillion in exports. Colombia is hosting the UNWTO General Assembly for the second time, following the 2007 UNWTO General Assembly in Cartagena de Indias. The event is expected to gather over 800 delegates from UNWTO Member States, the private sector and academia. “I trust that Colombia and Medellín will provide us a unique platform to share our insights on the important transformations shaping the tourism sector, step up response to our most pressing challenges and leverage the immense potential of tourism to be a true instrument for positive change in the world”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. “Hosting the UNWTO General Assembly for the second time is a unique opportunity for Colombia to share with the world its achievement in terms of tourism development and competitiveness: 161 ongoing infrastructure projects, over 18 thousand entrepreneurs entering the formal economy, 413 service providers with quality certification and 1.8 million direct jobs among others“, said Cecilia Álvarez-Correa, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia. This year´s Assembly also coincides with a defining moment for the international community as it prepares to embrace the universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the post-2015 blueprint for sustainable development. Among the highlights of the Assembly is the joint UNWTO/ICAO High-level Forum on Tourism and Air Transport for Development. The Forum will focus on how closer cooperation between aviation and tourism can maximize the impact of both sectors on employment, inclusive growth and sustainable development, in the context of the post-2105 development agenda and the coming Climate Summit next December. The Forum with the participation of all delegates attending will be moderated by the Secretary-General of UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, and the Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr. Fang Liu and count on the participation of Richard Quest, Anchor of CNN’s Quest Means Business. Other special events during the General Assembly include topics such as tourism as a tool for peace and social inclusion, financing for development, talent management, gastronomic tourism and shopping tourism. Held every two years, the General Assembly is UNWTO’s main statutory meeting and the most important international gathering of senior tourism officials and high-level representatives of the private sector.

Tourism’s ability to foster inclusive development and social transformation will be the focus of the upcoming 21st Session of the UNWTO General Assembly meeting in Medellín, Colombia (12-17 September 2015). The Assembly takes places at a most dynamic time for the tourism sector. With five consecutive years of robust growth, tourism has been a, Read More

From 28 April to 2 May, the Colombian coastal city of Valledupar is bringing out its best asset: “Vallenato.” The 48th Annual Festival of the Vallenata Legend pays tribute to the “López Dynasty” and will offer new events in its programming. The Festival of the Vallenata Legend, the best popular folkloric culture festival held, Read More

by Liliana Aceves When indigenous communities in México, El Salvador, and Honduras heard about the the Universal Multicultural Dialogue II (UMD II), they responded quickly. As announced in TIO last December, UMD II is an international interfaith festival being held in Guadalajara from May 6-9, 2015. Thousands will participate, as they did at the, Read More

The 450th anniversary of the Marvelous City will be the theme of the biggest New Year’s Eve event in open air in the world: the New Year’s Eve in Copacabana. The event will start the celebrations, which begins at the turn of 2015, and continues until February 2016. The event aims to share with, Read More

Cruceros Australis announces new off-season sailings out of Ushuaia in September of 2004. The three-day cruises include a disembarkment at Cape Horn with a visit to the Cap-Hornier which honors sailors lost attempting to surround the cape.

Beat the summer heat with a ski vacation to South America. While North America is melting under the summer sun, winter is in full swing down south. Moguls Mountain Travel is offering several exciting ski packages and vacations to South America at the resorts of Valle Nevado and Portillo in Chile and Las Leñas, Read More

THE GAMES have ended but Peru’s tourism expectations for soccer tournament Copa America have not been met, Gestion newspaper reported. Gerstion newspaper said Peru’s tourism organization, National Chamber of Tourism estimated, had predicted approximately 20,000 foreign tourists attendees to the games.

The 4th Latin American Travel Trade Mart will be held on the 23rd and 24th of September 2004 at Los Delfines Hotel, organized by Travel Update and sponsored by the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The main objective of the Latin American Travel Trade Mart is to gather in the same place the most important iberoamerican, Read More

Chile’s travel industry reaped a record high $1.1 billion dollars worth of hard-currency revenues all through 2003. A report issued by the countrys Tourism National Service (SERNATUR), points out that as many as 1,696,889 tourists visited the South American nation last year. Experts believe the nation is in a position to reach the two-million-visitor, Read More

Argentina’s arms are wide open to welcome at least 7.35 million tourists anytime soon as scores of trippers are expected to bring down the house in local resorts for the beginning of the summertime season in the southern hemisphere. For many experts, this is clear sign that the consumer index is back on track,, Read More