World Congress Discusses Diversification of Tourism in Mountain Regions
15 April 2014: The Eighth World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism gathered under the theme ‘Mountainlikers: New Trends in Mountain Tourism for the Summer Season' to discuss opportunities for strengthening the economic competitiveness of mountain regions that are heavily dependent on seasonal tourism. A main objective of the Congress is the development of an overview of successful business models and innovations, especially given the projected impacts of climate change.
In his opening address, Prime Minister of Andorra, Antoni Martí, shared his country's success in pursuing innovative tourism products for economic diversification, noting “Andorra is currently aiming to further diversify our snow and mountain tourism offer with other compatible activities in the areas of wellness and conference tourism, among others."
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai stressed the need for destinations and operators to explore new, sustainable experiences, adding that "Combined with the need for mountain destinations to adapt their tourism offer to the impacts of climate change and expand the tourism season, now is the perfect time for destinations and operators to look into new products that will expand and adapt the tourism season while creating sustainable tourism experiences."
In addition to environmental sustainability and innovative experiences, participants highlighted the importance of community engagement, state-of-the-art facilities, accessibility, outdoor sports, and mobile applications as opportunities to diversify tourism products.
The Congress, organized by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Government of Andorra, drew 450 participants from 31 countries to Andorra la Vella, Andorra from 9-10 April 2014. [UNWTO Press Release] [Meeting Website]