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Innovation and digitalization top of European tourism agenda

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) stressed the importance of tourism and technology providing opportunities for innovation and creating the jobs of the future, in its 63rd European Commission meeting that wrapped up work in Prague on Wednesday.

As UNWTO and its European Member States gathered to set the agenda for the region, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili described the Organizations´s intention to make innovation part of the solution to the challenge of marrying continued growth with a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector.  In a strategic discussion on innovation and the digital transformation, Mr. Pololikashvili made clear his vision to create an ecosystem of government policies, funds and strategic projects that nurture disruptive ideas and entrepreneurship, for which he enlisted the help of Member States and private sector members in the region.

“Together we can set a vision that considers tourism as a policy priority, a knowledge creator and innovator, and a sector of maximum value for all”, said Mr. Pololikashvili.  This year’s World Tourism Day, on September 27, will focus on tourism and the digital transformation. Celebrations will take place in Budapest, Hungary and worldwide.  Also at the meeting, UNWTO outlined plans for improving skills, education and specialized tourism training under the newly-launched UNWTO.Academy, and reaffirmed its engagement with Europe to face safety and sustainability challenges related to managing large tourist numbers.

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