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The World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) has been formed to protect local cultures, heritage and historical sites that are in peril from overtourism.


The new association will promote ethical practices and better management relating to culture and heritage destinations that are now buckling due to unrestricted visitor growth. WTACH will also encourage the implementation of sustainable practices at locations that are still in a honeymoon phase of tourism development.

The creation of WTACH comes at a time when the UNWTO reports that international tourism arrivals hit 1,4 billion in 2018, two years ahead of its previous forecast of 2020. The global economy grew 3,7 percent in 2018, according to UNWTO, propelling international tourism arrivals growth to six percent for the year.

To advance its agenda, WTACH has been launched with 15 specialist advisors from diverse backgrounds relating to the culture and heritage tourism sector. They will work with destinations that need help now or want to put plans in place before running into trouble.
WTACH is the brainchild of its founder and CEO, Chris Flynn, a former director for the Pacific region at the Pacific Asia Travel Association, a role he held for 15 years.

Flynn said that emerging tourism destinations need more help. While there are overtourism abuses in economically developed, highly regulated destinations, Flynn argues that it is in lesser economically developed destinations where overtourism has disproportionately greater negative impact.

WTACH works with destinations to provide development strategies and policy framework recommendations to avoid the kind of tourism meltdown we are seeing at Angkor Wat, Phi Phi Island and Mt Everest, according to Flynn.
WTACH’s position is that tourism needs to respect host communities and their cultural and heritage assets by adhering to a framework that has the host community at its heart.

Social media and mobile devices are not helping. Carolyn Childs, CEO, MyTravelResearch.com, and a member of the WTACH advisory specialising in analysing data and trends, said that it is no coincidence that WTACH is being born at a time when a selfie culture and the promotion of Instagramable travel is sweeping the world.

VR-Helsinki aims to become the service platform for sustainable tourism. The unique virtual city experience has been developed by the City of Helsinki together with its partner VR-studio ZOAN. Virtual Helsinki was presented at Slush, the world’s leading startup event, on December 04 -05.

Muslims are the world’s fastest-growing religious group and by 2030 (Source: www.pewrsr.ch/1hUQ1qG) will make up an estimated 25 percent of the world’s population.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the People’s Government of Guilin, China held the 12th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook on October 25 -27. This year’s edition - ‘The Future of Tourism: Road to 2030´, aligns with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Slovenian Tourist Board is striving to becoming the world’s best destination for wellness through a number of ongoing initiatives that promote the country’s thermal spas, medical clinics, pristine nature, organic produce and cuisine, and commitment to green, active and healthy tourism all based on sustainable precepts.

On the basis of the results of the Passengers Survey, arrivals of tourists in Cyprus reached 520,138 in September this year compared to 483,716 in September 2017, recording an increase of 7,5 percent. This September had the highest volume of tourist arrivals ever recorded in Cyprus during the specific month.

The outbound family travel market will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.6 percent from 300 million trips in 2017 to 376 million in 2022, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s latest barometer, international tourist arrivals grew six percent in the first half of this year after a record year of growth in 2017.

Susana Martinez, governor, New Mexico, announced that in 2017, the tourism industry generated the largest economic impact in state history for the seventh consecutive year, injecting USD6.6 billion into New Mexico’s economy.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) continues to follow the royal wisdom of the late King Bhumibol and bring His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn’s idea to disseminate and further implement royal projects with the development of major tourism routes in five regions.