The First Joint Knowledge-Management Seminar for United Nations System Officials and UNWTO Member States on Global Issues in Local Government: Tourism Policy Approaches was held in Madrid from 25 June – 1 July, 2006 at the…
The First Joint Knowledge-Management Seminar for United Nations System Officials and UNWTO Member States on Global Issues in Local Government: Tourism Policy Approaches was held in Madrid from 25 June – 1 July, 2006 at the ESADE Business School, one of the top ten executive schools in Europe. Some 40 participants from 31 UNWTO member countries attended the Seminar, which ran for a total of 43 hours, including keynote lectures, panel discussions and workshops. Six of the participants were sponsored by the Secretaria General Iberoamericana (SEGIB – Iberoamerican General Secretariat). The Seminar was opened by representatives of UNWTO, the UN, the Government of Spain, the City Government of Madrid, SEGIB, and the hosting institution ESADE.
The Seminar considered the issue of global changes vis-a-vis tourism policy and its significance for governance. Tourism is sometimes treated exclusively from the perspective of profitability in the private sector and, then, tourism policy is mainly associated with promotional activities. This, of course, is not the case as tourism is an essential part of governance where in order to make countries and destinations more attractive to tourists, excellence in public administration is necessary. Tourism is a transversal activity in governments, including areas such as the economy, social and environmental issues, security, education, information technology, land planning, communication, etc, as well as a subtle vector for development.
The seminar also examined the issues of destination competitiveness and sustainability, positioning in increasingly complex national and international markets, instruments to manage resource conservation, client loyalty (quality), efficiency of products and services (profitability), facilitating the exchange of views on the application of a key tourism policy tool: knowledge management.
The Seminar was led by leading specialists on governance and tourism policy issues. They presented a panorama of major questions with a strong impact on local governments: development, poverty, climate change, energy, water and resource depletion, and other economic and social issues. This was a highly interactive Seminar, where the participation of officials from the Tourism Administrations of UNWTO Member States and from the United Nations System organizations resulted in strong conclusions and recommendations, among which the drafting of “PROGOVT, a Professional Code for Excellence in Governance and Tourism Policy” should be highlighted.
The Seminar was concluded in a closing ceremony presided by the Ambassador of Andorra in Madrid, Mr. Vicenc Mateu Zamora, the Director General of ESADE in Madrid, Mr. Jose Maria de la Villa, and the President of the UNWTO.Themis Foundation, Dr. Eduardo Fayos-Sola.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.