Global Advocacy > World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Global Advocacy for trade liberalization

International tourism has become one of the major international trade categories, accounting for 6 per cent of total worldwide exports of services and goods. Today the export income generated by international tourism represents one third of all trade in services. For many developing countries, it is one of their main income sources and a key export category, creating much needed employment and opportunities for development. Developing countries have a huge potential for economic development through tourism if they can effectively use their competitive assets and attract investment under a liberalized regime. UNWTO aims at raising awareness among its members of the challenges that derive from the trade liberalization process and to provide assistance to Member States in their trade and investment negotiations.

For more information:

SCTD Capacity Building

In responding to the needs of developing and least developed countries (LDCs), UNWTO with its partners of the UN Inter-agency initiative of the Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD) [reference section on Inter-agency Cooperation Mechanisms below] are collaborating through joint activities (e.g. training workshops, etc.) designed at creating knowledge and resource capacity for highlighting the relevance of tourism as traded service in the global market; its importance in economic development and poverty reduction and ensuring that tourism is included in national development strategies. The basis for such activities derives primarily from the result of a series of joint studies – the diagnostic trade integrate studies (DTIS) – a World Bank-led initiative in collaboration with other UN entities (i.e. UNDP, WTO, etc.), which looks at “evaluating internal and external constraints on a country’s integration into the world economy, and recommends areas where technical assistance and policy actions can help the country overcome these barriers”, and whereby tourism was identified by 30 LDCs (approx. 86 per cent of all LDCs) as a priority for their development needs. (see joint discussion paper by UNDP and members of the SCTD – Tourism and Poverty Reduction Strategies in the Integrated Framework for LDCs, 2011).