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Dec 3,2018

The 3rd UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture

 

The Sultanate of Oman will participate in the activities of the 3rd United Nations World Tourism Organisation / UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture. it will be represented there by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Heritage and Culture of the Sultanate. His Excellency Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mahrizi, Minister of Tourism, will take part in the conference which will be held in Istanbul between December 3 and 5. The delegation of the Sultanate participating in the conference includes HE Hamad Bin Hilal Al Maamari, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture for Cultural Affairs and a number of experts in the ministries.
The conference will be opened at the Istanbul Convention Center under the auspices of His Excellency Mohammad Arsawi, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, and HE Mr. Zurab Polikalashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The first session of the conference, which will be participated by the ministers of tourism and culture from countries from around the world, will discuss the main topic of the meeting on strengthening cooperation between government organisations concerned with tourism and cultural sectors. There would also be discussions on the exchange of experiences and examples of practices to harmonize policies and implementation mechanisms to accelerate the transformation for sustainable development of cultural tourism. It will also discuss how to support governments in various countries around the world for partnership between the public and private sectors on the one hand, and ways to strengthen trilateral cooperation between tourism, culture and society on the other hand to achieve the desired goals of sustainable development.
The first session of the conference of ministers of tourism and culture will also discuss the actions which must be taken to achieve a sound and responsible balance between the tourism development process and the preservation of its gains. It will also review main requirements of the local communities of various tourist destinations from the aspects related to tourism management and planning.
The first day of the conference will include a key discussion session which will address topics and visual presentations related to the promotion of global partnerships in the sustainable development of cultural tourism. It will also have a session on cultural tourism for innovative and sustainable cities from the aspect of  innovations which can help protect cultural heritage and sustainable cultural tourism of these cities. In addition to this, there will be an event of signing of the pledge of private sector institutions to the Charter of the World Tourism Organization on the ethics of tourism. This will be followed by an official press conference of the organizers of the conference and the host country. There will also be a dinner hosted in honor of delegations.
The discussion meetings and visual presentations will be held on the first and second days of the conference. Officials and experts from the World Tourism Organizations, UNESCO, the World Bank and a number of ministers of tourism and culture, participants and decision makers and officials of a number of organisations, companies, tourism facilities and international hotels will give presentations. The topics of the second day are centered on responsible tourism to protect the intangible cultural heritage by focusing on local communities, and how to preserve this heritage, responsible practices and products which guarantee safe transfer of these heritage to the next generations.
The second day of the conference will also discuss ways of sustaining cultural tourism and making it available to all in the age of digital transformation, as latest tourism approach and the techniques used to promote the cultural tourism sector and prominent international examples in this regard.
The second and third day of the 3rd UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture will see the announcement of the Istanbul Declaration of Tourism and Culture 2018 and a presentation by the host country about activity of the 4th conference before the closing ceremony.
The Sultanate had hosted the 2nd UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture on December 11 and 12 last year. The conference was the largest international event organized on the occasion of the World Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development. The conference had more than 700 participants from around 70 countries of the world, including 30 Ministers of Tourism and Culture. At the end of the conference, Muscat Declaration of Tourism and Culture 2017 was announced. It called for commitment of the participating countries to five main points which included strong and harmonious relations between tourism and culture to support the contribution of cultural tourism in achieving the goals of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030 and its 17 detailed objectives. It also included support for the efforts of the ministries of tourism and culture in the promotion of peace and the protection of heritage, especially in crisis-affected areas. The Muscat declaration has also urged for responsible and sustainable tourism of cultural heritage, encouragement of innovative approach for sustainable urban development through cultural tourism, exploring and activating the relationship between culture and environment to achieve sustainable tourism. (ENDS)