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UNWTO Announces Bali to Host World Tourism Day 2022

The 24th General Assembly Session of The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) determined Bali, Indonesia, as the host of World Tourism Day 2022.

Next year’s World Tourism Day will be held on September 27, 2022. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations specialized agency entrusted with the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

Its headquarters are in Madrid, Spain. UNWTO is the leading international organization for the promotion of tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability. It provides leadership and support in advancing knowledge and tourism policies and serves as a global forum for tourism policy and a source of tourism research and knowledge. It encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism Development, Competitiveness, Innovation & Digital Transformation, Ethics, Culture & Social Responsibility, Technical Cooperation, UNWTO Academy, and Statistics.

The official languages of UNWTO are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism stood at an all-time high: 1 out of 10 jobs worldwide depended on tourism and international tourist arrivals reached 1.5 billion in 2019. Against a backdrop of heightened uncertainty, UNWTO conveyed the Global Tourism Crisis Committee to guide the tourism sector as it faced up to the COVID-19 challenge.

Next year’s World Tourism Day theme is “Rethinking Tourism”. The 24th General Assembly session was held from November 30 to December 3, 2021, in Madrid, Spain.

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has long considered the public and private sector to be integral partners in fulfilling its general mandate of promoting sustainable development in tourism. In addition, UNWTO is the only agency of the United Nations that has private sector members that participate in the governance structure. We believe that the public and private sectors share many common objectives which, in today’s globalized world, can be more effectively tackled through collaboration and the establishment of partnerships. UNWTO members have endorsed the Management Vision and Priorities of the Secretary-General which seeks to position tourism as a policy priority, lead in knowledge creation, enhance the Organization’s capacity through building new and stronger partnerships, and offer better value for existing Members while also expanding membership.

The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill, and tourism is the worst affected of all major economic sectors. Against a backdrop of heightened uncertainty, up-to-date and reliable information is more important than ever, both for tourists and for the tourism sector. UNWTO’s priorities shifted towards recovery of tourism increasing its efforts: By cooperating closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), the lead UN agency for the management of this outbreak; by ensuring with WHO that health measures are implemented in ways that minimize unnecessary impact on international travel and trade;  by standing in solidarity with affected countries; and by emphasizing tourism’s proven resilience and by standing ready to support recovery.

“It is absolutely crucial to work towards the enhancement of a new generation of partnerships, partnerships not only with governments, not only with civil society and academia but equally partnerships with the business community in the context of the perspective of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, creating the conditions for an inclusive and sustainable development – the best way to prevent crises and conflicts in today’s world”. António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

To realize the Management Vision, UNWTO’s work is based around five distinct pillars:

  1. making tourism smarter through celebrating innovation and leading the digital transformation of the sector;
  2. making tourism more competitive at every level through promoting investment and promoting entrepreneurship;
  3. creating more and better jobs and providing relevant training;
  4. building resilience and promoting safe and seamless travel; and
  5. harnessing tourism’s unique potential to protect cultural and natural heritage and to support communities both economically and socially.

Membership of the UNWTO includes 158 states, six territories (Flemish Community (1997), Puerto Rico (2002), Aruba (1987), Hong Kong (1999), Macau (1981), Madeira (1995)),[5] and two permanent observers (Holy See (1979), Palestine (1999)). Seventeen state members have withdrawn from the organization for different periods in the past: Australia (citing poor value for money), Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada (Canada withdrew from the World Tourism Organization when it appointed Robert Mugabe as a leader in 2013), Costa Rica, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Kuwait, Latvia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Thailand, United Kingdom and Puerto Rico (as an associate member). The Netherlands Antilles was an associate member before its dissolution.

“Bali, Indonesia, has been designated to host World Tourism Day 2022 with the theme “Rethinking Tourism” at the 24th General Assembly Session of The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which was held on November 30 – December 3, 2021, in Madrid,” the Indonesia Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement quoted by Suara.com, Friday, December 3, 2021. In the UNWTO General Assembly in Madrid, Nglanggeran Village in Yogyakarta received an award as one of the UNWTO’s Best Tourism Villages along with 43 other villages from 32 countries. Nglanggeran village was given recognition for its natural and cultural resources as well as innovative and transformative actions and commitments towards tourism development that are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Indonesia has a great interest in advancing global tourism agendas, especially the recovery of the tourism industry in the post-pandemic. During the meeting, Indonesia paid attention to the impact of the pandemic on tourism workers especially women. Indonesia has designed various programs to support female workers during the pandemic.

For information, the UNWTO General Assembly is a biennial meeting of UNWTO member countries to discuss world tourism policies. UNWTO member countries agreed that tourism is a pillar of development that absorbs many jobs, inclusive, and sustainable. For this reason, any country must continue to accelerate the recovery of world tourism after the COVID pandemic. UNWTO is the UN agency that has the authority to promote responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism. Currently, UNWTO has 160 member countries, 6 associate members, 504 affiliate members, and 2 observers (Vatican and Palestine). Indonesia has been a member of the UNWTO since 1975.