Call for tourism and transport policies link at UNWTO 20th general assembly

KATHMANDU, Nepal-The general debate of the 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly has put a focus on the link between tourism and air transport policies.

During the UNWTO’s 20th Session of the General Assembly held from August 24 to 29 in Victoria Falls, at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the delegates put spot light on the relation between tourism and transport policies.

Delegations from the 120 UNWTO member states taking part at the 20th session of the UNWTO assembly discussed air transport policies in their respective countries and called for measures and initiatives to increased connectivity.

Delegates further called for closer collaboration between tourism and air transport policies, according to a statement by UNWTO.

Issues such as visa facilitation, the need to make airports more visitor friendly, taxation, open skies and the impact of low cost airlines were among the issues raised during the debate.

The UNWTO has defined connectivity as one of its policy priorities alongside visa facilitation and fair taxation and is working with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on advancing these issues as well as those related to addressing climate change, the modernization of aviation regulations and the development of convergent rules for traveller and enterprise protection.

More than one billion tourists crossed international borders during 2012, over half of who travelled by air to their destinations.

The UNWTO membership includes 156 countries, six territories, two permanent observers and over 400 affiliate members.

Meanwhile, Jamaica has made history by being named chair of the prestigious UNWTO Executive Council.

The country’s tourism and entertainment minister, Dr Wykeham McNeill, was elected to serve as chairman for the year 2014-2015.

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