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A first-ever multi-country, multi-stakeholder Tourism Coalition is the new star at COP26 in Glasgow

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is not yet invited.
Action, not declaration must be the way forward to relaunch tourism effectively, and this coalition is ready to shine, and a new powerful coalition.

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  • COP 26 in Glasgow is not only getting a message to the world, that tourism needs to be part of the climate change solution, but it’s the first action by the First ever multi-country multi-stakeholders coalition in tourism .
  • It’s time for action, not declarations.
  • A profitable and climate friendly future for World Tourism just became a lot brighter.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference ongoing at this time in Glasgow, UK may very well be the start of a new form of global cooperation with both the public and private sector involvement.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is seen by many as ineffective, underfunded, and mismanaged may just be in for an awakening.

It started with a vision by the Saudi Minister of Tourism, HE Ahmed Aqeel AlKhateeb, and his counterpart in Spain HE Reyes Maroto to share this vision.

Finally, countries and stakeholders are stepping up while the UNWTO due to a lack of leadership is sleeping. This is an indication of a long-needed transformation of the global travel and tourism industry, and perhaps a chance for a new UNWTO in the making.

Saudi Arabia has been known to invest billions into the development of global tourism. This is not only attractive for an industry, that has been beaten by COVID-19 for almost two years, but it motivates and encourages.

While the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) signs declarations, the first-ever multi-country multi-stakeholders coalition is all about action.

It’s needless to say, the funding is real.

Former president of Mexico and chair of new climate economy

Saudi Arabia demonstrated to be a bridge between the developed and the developing world. Today the three tourism ministers from Kenya, Jamaica, and Saudi Arabia attending a panel in Glasgow on Climate change said: The Tourism Industry Wants to be Part of the solution to dangerous climate change

Establishing this new coalition is a 3 phase project.

Today’s event was attended by Governments from the United States, the UK, Kenya, Jamaica and Saudi Arabia.

In Phase 1, 10 countries in total were invited to the coalition:

  1. UK
  2. USA
  4. France
  5. Japan
  6. Germany
  7. Kenya
  8. Spain
  9. Saudí
  10. Morocco

International Organizations that participated today:

  1. UNFCC
  2. UNEP
  3. WRI
  4. WTTC
  5. ICC
  6. Systemiq

In addition, the World Bank and Harvard were invited to join the coalition.

ICC represents 45 million SME’s. 65% are in the developing world.

When asked when smaller organizations like the African Tourism Board and the World Tourism Network would be invited to join, Gloria Guevara indicated this could be discussed for step 2 or 3.

Noticeable UNWTO is not yet invited.

Saudi Arabia Minister of Tourism Ahmed Alkhateeb
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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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1 Comment

  • This is the same old faces, now backed by Saudi money, saying the same old things. They had a chance to act, and did not! Gloria was head of WTTC and prioritised growth, growth, growth, while sidelining the environment, during her tenure. Let’s see this for what it is – a desperate attempt for the powerful to maintain their ever-loosening grip on the agenda, while watching the planet burn as result of their years on inaction.