World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Organisation Mondiale du Tourisme (OMT)
Organización Mundial del Turismo (OMT)
Vsemirnaya Turistskaya Organizatsiya

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Established as an intergovernmental organization, on entry into force of statutes adopted Sep 1970, Mexico City (Mexico).

Nongovernmental predecessors were International Congress of Official Tourist Traffic Associations -- Congrès international des associations officielles de trafic touristique, founded on May 1925, The Hague (Netherlands), and International Union of Official Tourist Propaganda Organizations (IUOTPO) -- Union internationale des organismes officiels de propagande touristique (UIOOPT), set up 1934, The Hague, and re-organized, 1947, Paris (France), as International Union of Official Travel Organizations (IUOTO) -- Union internationale des organismes officiels de tourisme (UIOOT).

Madrid (Spain) headquarters were established 1 Jan 1976, under resolution 2 (I) adopted at first session of General Assembly, May 1975, Madrid. Principles for cooperation and development in the field set out in 'Declaration of Manila on World Tourism', adopted 27 Sep-10 Oct 1980, and 'Acapulco Document', adopted 21-27 Aug 1982. 'Tourism Bill of Rights' and 'Tourist Code' adopted 17-26 Sep 1985, Sofia (Bulgaria). 'Global Code of Ethics for Tourism' adopted Oct 1999, Santiago (Chile).

Statutes registered in 'UNTS 1/14403'.

In English originally referred to as WTO; new acronym 'UNWTO' adopted Dec 2005.

Relationship with F-XF1000 - United Nations System: Under resolution 2529 (XXIV) of 5 Dec 1969, the General Assembly of A-XA3375 - United Nations (UN) concluded an agreement of cooperation and relationship with the future World Tourism Organization and recognized its central and decisive role in the field, in cooperation with the existing mechanism within the United Nations system. UNWTO became a UN related agency in 1977. This role was substantially increased by Committees on Negotiations of ECOSOC and UNWTO, adopted, 6 Jun 2003, Madrid, by UNWTO Council and Jul 2003, Geneva (Switzerland), by ECOSOC. Final agreement later in 2003 by UN and UNWTO General Assemblies. The Organization became a specialized agency of the UN, 23 Dec 2003, pursuant to GA res 58/232.


Promote and develop responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism so as to contribute to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion. In pursuing these aims, pay particular attention to the interests of developing countries in the field of tourism.


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General Assembly (every 2 years); Executive Council (meeting twice a year); Secretariat. Regional Commissions (6), meet at least one a year, and are composed of Full and Associate Members of the relevant region with Affiliate Members from the region participating as observers: K-XM7106 - UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF); K-XM7107 - UNWTO Commission for the Americas (CAM); K-XM7108 - UNWTO Commission for East Asia and the Pacific (CAP); K-XM7109 - UNWTO Commission for Europe (CEU); K-XM7110 - UNWTO Commission for the Middle East (CME); K-XM7111 - UNWTO Commission for South Asia (CSA).

Specialized committees are subsidiary organs of the UNWTO Executive Council, except the World Committee on Tourism Ethics which is a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly: 'World Committee on Tourism Ethics'.

Specialized committees and subsidiary organs of the Executive Council: Programme and budget Committee (PBC); Committee on Statistics and the Tourism Satellite Account; Committee on Tourism and Competitiveness; Committee on Tourism and Sustainability; World Committee on Tourism Ethics; Committee for the Review of Applications for Affiliate Membership.

Councils of Affiliate Members which participate in UNWTO activities, make recommendations to its bodies and carry out studies and seminars in the framework of the UNWTO Programme of Work.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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