News

UNWTO Secretary-General Discusses Role of Tourism Industry in “Green New Deal”

Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General ad interim of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

11 March 2009: Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General ad interim of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), opened the annual ITB Travel Trade Show, which is convening from 11-15 March in Berlin, Germany. Speaking on the economic downturn, he emphasized the need to consider responses to the economy in the context of “the long-term systemic imperatives of climate-change response, job creation and poverty alleviation.”

He further highlighted the role of the sector's importance to the economy, encouraged inclusion of tourism in the crafting of the Green New Deal, called for a “Roadmap to Recovery,” including a prioritization of public-private partnerships, and underscored the imperative of the industry embracing the transformation to a Green Economy while also helping “the poorest countries develop their economies faster and seriously respond to climate change.” He also referenced the second meeting of the UNWTO Tourism Resilience Committee (TRC), which is taking place at the ITB Travel Trade Show on 13 March 2009, in Berlin, Germany. The TRC is a platform for information and best practice sharing regarding the current economic downturn and its impact on the tourism sector.  [UNWTO Press Release] [TRC Website] [Meeting Agenda for the Second Meeting of the TRC]