Third UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture is taking place in Istanbul

Third UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture is taking place at Lutfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center Istanbul, Turkey, from 3rd to 5th December 2018.

The 3rd UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture will build on the outcomes of the two previous editions of this event and their respective Declarations: the 2015 Siem Reap Declaration, which recommended closer and targeted partnerships between stakeholders of culture and of tourism; and the 2017 Muscat Declaration, which committed its endorsers to enhancing the contribution of tourism and culture in national SDG strategies.

This year the theme of World Conference is ‘for the Benefit of All’, which puts forward two priorities:

  1. Creating more inclusive partnerships between tourism and culture stakeholders that contribute to SDG implementation.
  2. Promoting tourism development that encourages cultural interaction and ensures the benefits are shared by all communities involved.

This year’s edition will concentrate on technology, visitor management models and the approaches that bring the widest possible range of benefits to both visitors and locals, while safeguarding cultural values and heritage in line with responsible tourism principles and the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.

The Conference will further highlight how cultural tourism can make an important contribution to the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in terms of poverty reduction, fighting inequality and promoting inclusive growth.

Tourism and culture are inter-related things. Culture is one of the key factors driving the growth of the tourism sector with recent studies showing that cultural tourism is growing at a faster rate than global tourism. Cultural heritage attractions have seen a boost in their appeal.

UNWTO and UNESCO have been working together for many years to raise awareness about the strong links between tourism and culture. Seeking symbiotic partnership models is key to this work and requires the active engagement of tourism and culture stakeholders to address aspects such as governance, community engagement, innovation, technology and corporate social responsibility.