The future of tourism in the hands of the new generation

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The future of tourism in the hands of the new generation
Source: UNWTO
June 22, 2022

The first UNWTO World Youth Tourism Summit will bring more than 130 young people from 60 countries to Sorrento, Italy, next week, providing them with a unique platform to play a leading role in the future of the sector


The event, the first of its kind, is organized by UNWTO and is based in Italy in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and the National Tourism Agency (ENIT). It will unite young people between the ages of 12 and 18 from around the world with leaders from across the industry, including politicians and key figures from the worlds of sport, food, entertainment and innovation. The Summit has received the medal of the President of the Republic of Italy and the patronage of the Department of Youth Policies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “World Youth Tourism will celebrate and empower the next generation of tourism leaders. It will help build a lasting legacy by providing young people with the skills and knowledge they need to transform tourism not just in their communities but everywhere.”

The summit, which will take place from June 27 to July 3, will feature six master classes, along with two evening talks, as well as a simulation of the UNWTO General Assembly and interactive sessions in which participants will be able to interact directly with the United Nations and with Tourism Ministers and other high-level officials from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Croatia, Germany, Georgia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Spain, Montenegro, Sao Tome and Principe, Yemen and many other states UNWTO members.

It will help build a lasting legacy by providing young people with the skills and knowledge they need to transform tourism not just in their communities but everywhere.

Italian Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia adds: “The Italian government is proud to host the first World Youth Tourism Congress in Sorrento. We trust that ideas and proposals will emerge that can advise governments on how to improve the global tourism offer and bring it closer to the needs of new tourists”.

Alessandra Priante, UNWTO Director for Europe, added: "Tourism gives young people opportunities. But young people give tourism the opportunity to become stronger and more resilient. We are very proud of the first generation of GYTS-ers, who already they are showing their promise and commitment to transform tourism, starting with their local communities".

Roberta Garibaldi, general director of ENIT, pointed out: “The synergy that can be generated in the exchange between the generation under 19 and organizations on equal terms can only be good for tourism, to look at the future with new eyes. and forward-looking ideas. We are even more excited than the young people we will meet.”

Sustainability, rural development, gastronomy and innovation

The Summit will focus on some of the key challenges and opportunities facing global tourism right now, with an emphasis on the sector's role in achieving the UN 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will include an in-depth look at biodiversity, which will be organized in collaboration with Marevivo and the MSC Foundation. Participants will go on an excursion to the Punta Campanella Marine Protected Area to learn first-hand how tourism is helping to protect coastal areas and biodiversity. This will be complemented by a deeper study of the techniques of the sea and navigation, with the MSC Foundation providing an overview of the important role of the cruise industry for local and national economies.

Reflecting UNWTO's broader focus on innovation and the digital transformation of tourism, the Summit will also feature a special session focused on online security, organized in collaboration with the UN agency, ITU (International Telecommunications Union). ), as well as a talk on virtual tourism and the Metaverse, organized in collaboration with Meta. Alongside this, the World Food Forum (facilitated by the UN agricultural organization FAO) will host a discussion on solutions to reduce food waste in tourism.

Entre los oradores internacionales que participarán en el GYTS se encuentran la Enviada de la ONU para la Juventud, Jayathma Wickramanayake, así como los Embajadores de Turismo Responsable de la OMT, Valeria Mazza, Didier Drogba, Gino Sorbillo, Pilar Rodríguez. En representación del sector privado estarán figuras destacadas de Mastercard y del Grupo Hilton, patrocinadores del evento. Se dirigirán virtualmente a los participantes Su Santidad el Papa Francisco, Sophia Loren, Eliza Jane Reid (Primera Dama de Islandia y Embajadora de la OMT), Diego Simeone, Fernando Hierro, el Director General de la FAO Qu Dongyu, el Presidente de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, Abdulla Shahid y la comisaria europea, Mariya Gabriel responsable de la juventud. También se unirá virtualmente la Embajadora de la OMT y empresaria Pansy Ho.

Young people with promise
Highlighting the role of GYTS as UNWTO's permanent platform for youth and tourism, in preparation for Sorrento, young participants prepared themselves through webinars that allowed them to explore, together with global influencers and leading experts , the principles of sustainability, tourism and multilateralism.

UNWTO expresses its deepest gratitude to the many sponsors and partners that make the event possible: Comune di Sorrento, Regione Campania, Mastercard, Qatar Foundation, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Global Tourism Economy Research Centre, Aeroporti di Roma, Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education, Azerbaijan Tourism Board PLE, AirEuropa and Ferrero.

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