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Committee acknowledges shift in WTO`s programme towards management

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) Programme Committee confirmed a change in the Organization`s programme…

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) Programme Committee confirmed a change in the Organization`s programme, which is becoming more managerial and proposed some key priorities in the upcoming programme for the period of 2005-2007.

The Committee accepts with satisfaction a shift in the Organization`s workings towards clear key priorities and even more determined activities, from mainly consultative to management oriented in favour of the Members, said the Committee Chairperson Angelika Liedler (Austria). This change is the outcome of the series of Impact Evaluation System seminars for the WTO senior officials, that begun in October 2002. The best ever participation of the Members and their active discussions proved the importance of WTO programme of work for the future development of international tourism, Ms. Liedler stressed.

In the period 2006 – 2007 we can expect a strong economic growth, but volatility will persist, stressed the President of international Federation of Tour Operators Martin Brackenbury, underlining that now the WTO programme of work will better reflect a situation of new normality.

Sustainable tourism development, in particular the initiative for poverty alleviation, ST-EP Foundation and economic measurement of tourism were two fields of activities, assessed by the Committee as the most important in the upcoming programme of work.

Among other important activities the members of the Committee stressed quality certification and standards, human resources development, destination management, market intelligence and communications, including image building, raising awareness on positive impacts of tourism and rebuilding of consumer confidence in tourism. After hearing reports from the heads of WTO departments, the Committee also called on the Organization to pursue specific fields of action, such as rural and cultural tourism, and employment in tourism.

The meeting of the Programme Committee, which is one of the key WTO bodies, was held from 25 to 26 May at the WTO Headquarters.

The Committee meets annually to monitor the implementation of the WTO programme of work and offers guidelines on preparation of the upcoming programme of work. Its members agreed that the WTO Programme is one of the richest and most ambitious among programmes of inter-governmental organizations, despite the fact that the WTO Secretariat is among the smallest in the United Nations system.

The Committee, consisting of twenty-two Members, will be chaired for the second consecutive (biannual) term by Ms. Angelika Liedler and the Ambassador of Pakistan to Spain Aftab Hussain Syed as Vice-Chairman. The task force for evaluation consists of representatives of the Seychelles, France, Lebanon and the WTO Affiliate Members, represented by their President Mr. Andre Vallerand.

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