MADRID/LIMA, Peru (September 25, 2008) – The synergies between tourism and handcrafts must be fully recognized and developed to become economic opportunities for local artisans, tourism competitiveness and promotion of host destinations. Handcrafts, tourism and their contribution to poverty reduction within the framework of the UN Millennium Development Goals will come under the spotlight during the III Conference on Tourism and Handcrafts, organized by UNWTO in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru.
Tourism is currently one of the world’s largest economic activities and the leading industry in many countries, especially in the developing world, where it has proven to be a strong contributor to sustainable socio-economic development and poverty alleviation in local communities.
Tourism and handcrafts enable the development of small businesses and represent employment and income opportunities for people often left on the margins of local economies.
Just like tourism, handcrafts are recognized for their potential to connect different people and cultures:
– Handcrafts constitute an integral part of the tourism experience.
– Handcrafts are a link to a foreign culture which greatly enhances travel, building on the ability to bind communities and foster the continuity of local traditions, thus preserving cultural heritage and diversity.
Participants to the Conference include internationally-renowned experts from UNWTO Member States, international organizations, NGOs and private sector representatives in handcrafts and tourism. The III International Conference on Tourism and Handcrafts builds on previous Conferences in Asia (Iran, May
2006) and Africa (Burkina Faso, November 2006).
World Tourism Day 2008
Following the Conference, Peru will host this year’s official World Tourism Day
(WTD) celebrations around the theme, “Tourism responding to the Challenge of Climate Change,” on September 27.
A year-long campaign around WTD has highlighted innovation and public/private sector collaboration. Ongoing actions include a series of regional level adaptation, mitigation and innovation awareness and capacity building activities around the world, as well as a follow up Ministers’ Summit during World Travel Market (November 11, 2008).