Mayors and City Experts Workshops

Mayors Workshop

With over 1.2 billion people now crossing international borders each year (a number which is expected to grow to 2 billion by 2030), tourism is increasingly a major source of growth, employment and income for many of the world’s countries.

This represents huge opportunities for local economic development and poverty alleviation with data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) showing that tourism accounts for 1 in 11 jobs worldwide, represents around 30% of global service exports, and directly and indirectly contributes to around 10% of global GDP.

However, if not properly managed tourism can have negative impacts on World Heritage sites and local communities and residents.

The Mayor’s workshop will address the need to strengthen policies and frameworks that promote broad stakeholder engagement in the planning, development and management of sustainable tourism in of support sustainable tourism as an important vehicle for managing cultural and natural heritage of Outstanding Universal Value.

City Expert Workshop

Monitoring the impact of tourism and improving visitor management to achieve a more sustainable dynamic between visitors and host communities is the goal of the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the value and impact of World Heritage designation on destinations and local economies.

The key will be to identify tourism management solutions that support  heritage conservation, socio economic development for local communities, and promotes responsible travel.

To address the increasing negative impacts from tourism to the outstanding universal value (OUV) and the escalating challenges of visitor management and declining visitor experience in World Heritage sites, UNESCO has created a Visitor Management Assessment Tool to enable World Heritage site managers to rapidly and efficiently assess how tourism is being managed according to a set of sustainability indicators. By helping site managers establish a tourism management baseline, the tool will support proactive management to develop and implement tourism strategies and other appropriate planning and management frameworks to protect heritage values by engaging a broad set of stakeholders, empowering and providing benefits to local communities.

The City Expert Workshop will provide an introduction to the tool and discuss strategies to manage tourism efficiently, responsibly and sustainably based on the local context and needs.