21ST ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL FORUM OF TRAVEL AND TOURISM ADVOCATES(IFTTA)

Sao Paulo & Ilhabela , Brazil

3-6 October  2009

 

MESSAGE  ON BEHALF OF THE UNWTO SECRETARY-GENERAL A.I. AT THE OPENING CEREMONY

SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009

PARQUE DO IBIRAPUERA

SAO PAULO

 

  

 

Address by Patrice TEDJINI, Representative of the Secretary-General  a.i.  of the World Tourism Organization(UNWTO)

 

  

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Distinguished Representative of the University of Sao Paulo

Distinguished Representative of  the President of Sao Paulo Turismo

Distinguished  Representative of the Judges Association of Sao Paulo

Distinguished   Representative of the Court of Justice of Sao Paulo

Distinguished   Co-Presidents of the International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates,

Honourable  Presidents Emeritus  of IFTTA,

Distinguished Members of IFTTA,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

 

It is a great honour for the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to be invited to address this opening ceremony of the Twenty-First  Annual Conference of the International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates (IFTTA) held this year in Brazil -a founder Member of UNWTO and presently, Member of our Executive Council- which is taking place, firstly, in this prestigious and vibrant Metropolis of Sao Paulo, and secondly, in the Island of Ilhabela , an attractive place of natural, historic and tourist interest.

 

On this occasion , our Secretary-General ad interim, Mr. Taleb RIFAI, would like me to convey his personal best wishes for a most successful Conference .

 

For my part, I am very pleased to be here today with you, in the premises of this impressive  Museum of Contemporary Art located in the Ibirapuera Park, Sao Paulo’s green lung.

 

May I express my deep appreciation to the organizers of this important event for the warm welcome and  hospitality extended to me. I would like  to thank in particular Professor Maria Goretti SANCHES LIMA and Dr. Wyllelm  Rinaldo RODRIGUES DOS SANTOS, the dynamic initiators of this yearly Conference of IFTTA.

  

 

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Distinguished Representatives of the Brazilian Authorities,

Distinguished  Co-Presidents of IFTTA,

Distinguished Members of IFTTA,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

  

The choice of Brazil  to celebrate your 21st Annual Conference could not have been more appropriate. It is a recognition of Brazil’s tourism industry and its recent success and future potential.

 

With five million arrivals in 2008, Brazil, according to UNWTO’s statistics -and in spite of the deteriorating world economy- ranks  fourth among  the countries of the Americas, up from only  eighth place in 1995.

 

 As for the relations between UNWTO and Brazil, they  have always been very highly satisfactory and mutually beneficial. Since it joined the Organization in January 1975, Brazil has been a very active and visual player both in UNWTO and global tourism issues.

 

Brazil’s representation in UNWTO is highly diversified with, besides  the Federal Ministry of Tourism and EMBRATUR, thirteen Affiliate Members composed of tourism professionals, academics  and regional bodies.

 

Brazil  has also been the venue for important UNWTO events. In the context of the present Conference,  let me just  refer to the Third International Forum for Parliaments and Local Authorities as Tourism Policy Makers  in the 21 st Century hosted by the Brazilian Government  in Rio de Janeiro, in May 2000.

 

Attended by 410 parliamentarians, local and central government members and tourism sector representatives  from 78 countries, this Third Forum, organized less than one year after the adoption, in Santiago, Chile, of the Global Code of Ethics  for Tourism, constitutes  a significant  step  towards the promotion of a tourism legislative framework in favour of sustainable tourism development.

 

  

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Distinguished  Members of IFTTA,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

 

Before reviewing in few minutes the current joint activities and  future prospects of cooperation between IFTTA and UNWTO,  let me briefly introduce –regarding  the three main themes you have selected  for your conference-   a number of initiatives undertaken  by UNWTO in relation with these topics . Such initiatives will be examined these days, for appropriate follow up, by our General Assembly which is  taking place in Astana, the Capital City of  Kazakhstan.

 

  • On the issue of prevention and risk management, UNWTO works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international and national bodies to monitor the impacts of the influenza A(H1N1) virus  and recommends  governments  and travellers  to regularly consult the website of  SOS Travel  and other reliable  sources  for the latest updates and information issued by health and travel authorities as the situation evolves.

 

  • With regard to the world economic crisis, but also linked with the work  on the current influenza pandemic, the UNWTO Secretariat  has created last year, in October,  the Tourism Resilience Committee (TRC) which aims to measure the effects on tourism of the economic and sanitary crises, and to provide  the right guidance  for the sector to recover, taking into consideration the poverty alleviation and climate change challenges.

 

  • To this end, the TRC  has established  a Roadmap for Recovery  which includes a set of 15 recommendations  based on three interlocking action areas: Resilience-Stimulus-Green Economy.

 

  • Regarding the recent developments in travel and tourism law, mention should be make of the work conducted by UNWTO since 2007  through a working group of governmental  experts, on the establishment  of a legal instrument  to deal with the facilitation of tourist travel. As a result of this exercise, a draft Declaration on the Facilitation of Tourist Travel  is submitted for approval to our General Assembly. This Declaration - which is not a normative binding document- represents a considerable step by reaching consensus on three sensitive issues, namely, travel advisories, visa issuance modalities  and tourist travel  by persons  with disabilities and persons affected by the HIV virus.

 

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§        Finally, related to the crucial topic of the environment, climate change, one of the pillars of the United Nations current agenda, it also be of concern to UNWTO. In this respect, the Davos Process initiated in 2007, has gained  recognition, particularly  during the celebration of the World Tourism Day 2008 on the theme: Tourism responding to the Challenge of Climate Change. More recently, a further step has been taken by the UNWTO Secretariat in the framework of  the  Climate –neutral UN Initiative,  a very complex topical issue

 

 

 

 

Distinguished Representatives of the Brazilian Authorities,

Distinguished Members of IFTTA,

Ladies  and Gentlemen,

 

At the opening of the Global Travel and Tourism Summit held in May of this year at Florianópolis, in the Brazilian State of Santa Catarina, President of Brazil, H.E. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, declared “ Given tourism catalytic  effect on other sectors of the economy, the Brazilian Government is determined  to join hands with this sector to reinforce its role in job creation and in achieving social  goals  through responsible growth policies”.

 

 

 Let’s work together  with the same spirit.

 

 

Thank you for your attention

 

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