World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
UNWTO offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
UNWTO’s membership includes 156 countries, 6 Associate Members and over 400 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.
UNWTO is Observer with the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA) since 2015.
Strasbourg, France 23 november 2021
Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe highlighted in the UNWTO/UNESCO 4th World Conference Declaration on Tourism and CultureKyoto, Japan 12-13 december 2019
On October 2021, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mrs Marija Pejčinović Burić, and the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen synergies and joint actions between the two International Organisations.
The joint actions will be aimed at recognising the added value that cultural routes offer for sustainable tourism development, cultural heritage safeguarding and intercultural dialogue. The collaboration will also further highlight the routes’ potential for advancing social, economic and cultural development, benefitting both Europe and its partner countries by strengthening cultural and historical ties.
The two organisations will be collaborating first in the sphere of creative tourism, to showcase good practices in line with the International Year of Creative Economy 2021, and further promote destinations encompassed by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA).
On September 2016, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, and the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Mr. Taleb Rifai, signed a two-year Memorandum of Cooperation to strengthen synergies and joint actions between the two International Organisations.
The objective of the Memorandum is to enhance cooperation between UNWTO and the Council of Europe within the framework of the EPA, promote and foster close collaboration in the field of sustainable cultural tourism development and identify initiatives to enhance the visibility of the two International Organisations at international, national and regional levels.
This collaboration counts its pioneer project: the Phoenicians’ Route Cultural Tourism Programme, a joint programme contributing to the development of a new model of sustainable and inclusive tourism, designed to provide a more authentic, community-based experience along three Cultural Route Tourism Itineraries developed in the framework of the Phoenician's Route.