World Tourism Organization

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The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), based in Madrid, Spain, is a United Nations agency dealing with questions relating to tourism. It compiles the World Tourism rankings.[1] The World Tourism Organization is a significant global body, concerned with the collection and collation of statistical information on international tourism. This organization represents public sector tourism bodies, from most countries in the world and the publication of its data makes possible comparisons of the flow and growth of tourism on a global scale. The official languages of UNWTO are Arabic, English, ‎French, Russian, and ‎Spanish.


Organizational aims

The World Tourism Organization plays a role in promoting the development of responsible, ‎sustainable and universally accessible tourism, paying particular attention to the ‎interests of developing countries‎.

The Organization encourages the implementation ‎of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, with a view to ensuring that member ‎countries, tourist destinations and businesses maximize the positive economic, ‎social and cultural effects of tourism and fully reap its benefits, while minimizing its ‎negative social and environmental impacts.

UNWTO is committed to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, geared ‎toward reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development.[2]


The origin of the World Tourism Organization stems back to 1925 when the International Congress of Official Tourist Traffic Associations (ICOTT) was formed at The Hague. Some articles from early volumes of the Annals of Tourism Research,[3] claim that the UNWTO originated from the International Union of Official Tourist Publicity Organizations (IUOTPO), although the UNWTO states that the ICOTT became the International Union of Official Tourist Propaganda Organizations first in 1934.

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