By Irene Gaitirira
Published October 19, 2016
Tourism, as a central component of the economy, social life and geography of many cities in the world, is positioned to seize the opportunities provided by urbanization. However, managing the growth of tourism in many cities around the globe is one of the many emerging challenges facing the travel and tourism industry.
It is on the backdrop of these challenges that United Nation’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Government of Egypt are organising the 5th Global Summit on City Tourism in Luxor November 1-2, 2016 to launch the Mayors for Tourism Initiative whose aim is to “promote the important role of tourism as a driving force for socio‑economic development in cities, and place the sector as a priority on the urban agenda.”
The summit, whose theme is ‘Cities: Local Culture for Global Travellers’, is expected to discuss city tourism trends and debate subjects such as sustainable development, spatial organisation and rejuvenation, innovation in city tourism, cross-cultural behaviour, and new business models.
The development of clusters that engage public and private players from all sectors is central to the new approach of city tourism development, in which tourism needs to be a tool for social cohesion and cultural preservation, beyond its fundamental contribution to economic activity.
Part of the action plan of the UNWTO City Tourism Network, the Mayors for Tourism Initiative brings mayors and decision-makers in cities to incorporate tourism issues in city planning.
Mayors of world cities have been invited to share best practices in managing the challenges and opportunities that tourism presents to local administrations and to propose formulas to align their tourism‑related policies with those of national governments.
Setting pace for the Summit October 30-November 1, 2016 will be the 104th Session of the UNWTO Executive Council.