UNWTO will be a co-organizer of the Future of Tourism World Summit, presented by the Advanced Leadership Foundation and the INCYDE Foundation of the Spanish Chambers of Commerce with the support of Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Provincial Council and the Zona Franca Consortium (CZFB). The event will be held in a hybrid format on October 26 and 27 at La Llotja de Mar and will bring together more than 80 speakers from 70 countries.
After announcing their incorporation as co-organizers of the summit, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that it represents “an opportunity to rethink tourism development, ensuring the fairer distribution of its benefits and advancing the transition towards a carbon-neutral and more socially resilient tourism economy.”
For two days, experts will explore creative ways out of the crisis caused by the pandemic. They will also address issues related to sustainability, cultural identities, accessible tourism, wine tourism and personalized travel experiences, among others.
The event will be attended by 20 Ministers of Tourism from around the world, alongside former heads of state and government, as well as representatives of international organizations, business associations and global knowledge networks, including UNWTO, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the International Youth Organization (IYO), the Organization of American States (OAS), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European Commission (EC).
The aim of the Future of Tourism World Summit is to find solutions to the challenges facing tourism worldwide in the aftermath of COVID-19, to develop collaborative systems to turn this crisis into an opportunity for shared progress and to contribute to the global economic reactivation of the sector.
The event will culminate in the signing of the Barcelona Declaration, which aims to become an international benchmark, establishing a framework for a new, more ethical and sustainable tourism model.
First forum on the future of post-pandemic tourism
The vice-president of the Advanced Leadership Foundation, Jorge Brown, explained that the summit aims to make tourism visible as “a central driver of the economy in all countries worldwide” and “must take measures to adapt to all contemporary challenges, especially after the pandemic”. “It is the first forum exclusively dedicated to addressing the future of tourism, and we are gathering leading decision-makers from all over the world,” he added. Brown also stressed that they have chosen to host the Summit in Barcelona because it is a “dynamic, diverse and inspiring city that looks to the future as an opportunity, while at the same time embracing its history.”
For the president of the INCYDE Foundation, José Luis Bonet, this Summit is “a sign of our ability to promote a global debate on how tourism can contribute to making the whole planet prosper in a sustainable and inclusive way, and of Spain’s firm commitment to UNWTO, whose headquarters are located in our country”. According to Bonet, “this summit means turning Barcelona, one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, into an area for reflection, debate and the generation of new proposals for the recovery, modernization and reinvention of tourism, a position that will be extraordinarily reinforced with the signing of the Barcelona Declaration.”
The forum also aims to identify and promote leadership in the tourism sector to contribute to the future of the economy. As part of the summit, there will be an international call for 300 leaders who will be trained during the two days of the congress and then virtually for a further 12 months. The selected participants will work to replicate the knowledge they have learned, as well as to seek new allies for the Barcelona Declaration.