The ability to offer a high-quality experience is a crucial element for tourism competitiveness in Mediterranean destinations. The 2nd UNWTO Conference on Destination Management in the Mediterranean will focus on enhancing the quality of the visitor’s experience through strategic tourism partnerships (Budva, Montenegro, 22-24 June 2015).
The Mediterranean is one of the most visited tourism regions in the world, accounting for one in three international tourist arrivals worldwide, over a quarter of total international tourism receipts, and almost 20% of the global cruise market.
The Conference, organized jointly by UNWTO and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro in the popular coastal destination of Budva, will explore how partnerships can promote quality and product diversification in the Mediterranean.
The Conference will address key issues such as: 1) the positioning of Mediterranean destinations in the global market, 2) product development, diversification and innovation as a means to improve the quality of the visitor experience, capture a wider range of market niches and minimize seasonality, 3) cruise and maritime tourism and 4) effective governance and policy instruments.
Speakers include representatives from the public and private sector from Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Jordan, Spain, Portugal and Turkey.
In 2014, 343 million international tourists visited a Mediterranean destination. According to UNWTO’s long-term forecast, this number will reach over 500 million in 2030.
The transformation of the Global Code of Ethics into a full international convention as a means to boost the responsibility of governments in this field and advance the impact of the Code was the main topic discussed at the 15th meeting of the WTCE.
Alongside this issue, the WCTE looked into the level of implementation of the Code by public and private sectors as well as at the advances on its priority areas: the fight against child exploitation, accessibility, all inclusive holidays and its impact on local communities, and the issue of unfunded ratings in web portals.
Pascal Lamy, WCTE Chairman and former Director General of the World Trade Organization, highlighted “the importance of the implementation of the principles of the Code of Ethics by both UNWTO Member States and the Private Sector in order to promote an ethical and responsible tourism development.”
“The World Committee on Tourism Ethics has done invaluable work in raising awareness and promoting responsible policies and practices in the tourism sector for over ten years”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, opening the meeting. “Tourism has immense potential to be a force for good, but it requires concrete action from all stakeholders. I therefore fully support the Committee’s proposal to bring the Code further into an international convention”, he added.
In the area of children’s rights, Carol Bellamy, chair of the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection and former Director of UNICEF, presented a report on child protection in tourism and supported the transformation of the Code of Ethics into a convention in order to help enforce the principles of child protection worldwide.
The Committee approved a set of specific recommendations on accessible tourist information which will be presented to the 21st session of the UNWTO General Assembly (Medellin, Colombia, 12-17 September 2015) for adoption. It addition, it noted the wide interest of Governments and national tourism administrations in the Code and the growing number of companies and associations that have adhered to the Private Sector Commitment to the Code.
The World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE) is the independent body responsible for promoting and overseeing the implementation of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET), a set of principles designed to guide tourism development in a way that maximizes the socio-economic benefits of the sector, while minimizing any negative impacts.
The 16th meeting of the Committee will take place in November 2015.
An insight into the future: that’s what will be revealed at BitCongress2015, the 1st Annual International Tourism Congress. A feature of the new concept of Bit, the congress is scheduled for Friday 13 February, in the prestigious setting of the 1,000-seat Auditorium of the Stella Polare Convention Center, in the Fieramilano district of Rho.
The congress will offer a unique opportunity to meet and make comparisons with authoritative opinion leaders and international influencers, figures rarely seen together in one place, especially in Italy: academics, sector analyzers, exponents of companies who can claim to be some of the greatest success stories in the sector and buyers from all over the globe.
“For anyone who works in the sector and anyone who is interested in the macro-economic dimension of tourism, the congress will provide a not-to-be-missed opportunity to understand the trends and access figures that are vital for developing new, effective business strategies,” – commented Cristina Tasselli, Exhibition Manager of Bit. – “With a new formula that actively encourages discussion and networking, Bit2015 is confirming its leadership position in Italy as a place where knowledge is shared. It is making a vital contribution to the industrial policy of the sector, at a time when operators are demanding punctual, precise answers in order to preside effectively over markets that are constantly changing, where the customer’s contractual power is growing constantly, in the face of an approach that is increasingly specialized, motivational and experience-based.”
At 09.15 the congress will open with an exchange of thoughts between Gianni Riotta, editorialist at La Stampa, and William Ridgers, editorialist at The Economist. Riotta has also tackled themes relating to Italian tourism in various foreign publications, including the Wall Street Journal, while, amongst other things, in recent years, Ridgers has written about the new trends being experienced in business travel as a result of changes in the demand and in the markets.
Following this, at 09.30, exclusively for Bit2015, Chris Fair, Chairman of Resonance Consultancy, will be giving an extremely topical keynote speech, which will help operators and buyers to identify the most effective ways to conquer new targets: from the global growth of the markets to the new central importance of China, the penchants of the millennials and the most promising niches, such as luxury, shopping, and holidays for Gay&Lesbian travelers.
At 10.00 Ridgers returns to the stage to chair the round table on New Perspectives of International Travel and the Tourism Market, with a panel which includes not only Chris Fair, but also Enzo Visone, CEO of Silversea, which operates in the exclusive cruise segment, and Sylvain Querne, Head of Marketing Communication South Europe at Facebook, who will put forward the important viewpoint of the social networks.
At 10.45 the curator Prof. Emilio Becheri, Director of Turistica, a magazine specializing in economics, management and marketing, will present the new report produced by Think with Bit, Bit’s own think-tank. This time, “Journey into Made-in-Italy Luxury” makes an in-depth probe into the importance of luxury lifestyles in Italian tourism: starting back in the 1950s, this broad-spectrum analysis puts Italy’s prospects into perspective, especially after the economic crisis of 2008, which saw the luxury share of international tourism in our country increase from 17.2% in 2005 to 20.8% in 2013.
After a break designed to give time for networking among players in the sector, the second session will begin at 11.30 with an extremely important special guest: an interview with Francesco Ricasoli, Chair Person of Cantine Barone Ricasoli, who will talk about how to promote history, tradition and innovation in Italy, and use them to advantage on the international markets.
At 12.00 the plenary session will be followed by two parallel sessions which look in depth at two different areas. In Session A, which focuses on Leisure and Luxury, a panel will discuss emerging cases of success. The panel comprises Aldo Melpignano, Managing Director of Borgo Egnazia – San Domenico Hotels, Christian Fabrizio, Founder of Delitaly and Gianni Martino, CEO of Car2g. The session will be chaired by Gianni Riotta.
Session B will look at MICE, Giovanna Lucherini, President Elect & VP Education of MPI Italia, Olimpia Ponno, President of MPI Italia and Maria Rosaria Broggi, VP Communication of MPI Italia will discuss the importance of being “Culture-active” when managing events and, in particular, how to use new tools to gain a better understanding of clients’ needs, communicate with other cultures, minimize errors, elevate performance, improve business and measure customer satisfaction.
Although only those invited may attend the actual event, the Annual International Tourism Congress will also be going “live” on Bit’s social networks. Bit2015’s range of training and instruction comes full circle with presentations of the various destinations and a talk-show entitled “Industry and distribution in tourism: businesses, people and projects” curated by Roberto Gentile in Sala Mondo in Hall 18, technological updates in the Digital Arena in Hall 14, specialist training sessions for travel agents in Sala Aquarius, also at the Stella Polare Convention Center, as well as the numerous events added to the exhibition program by exhibitors at their booths.
Bit2015 will be taking place at the Fieramilano fairground in Rho from Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 February 2015. It will open to the public only on Saturday 14, except for the areas reserved for trade professionals, and people will be admitted to the Luxury area by invitation only.
For further information: www.bit.fieramilano.it; @bitmilano; #Bit2015.
Twitter: @bitmilano; #Bit2015.
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