The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili has joined the Minister of Tourism of Italy Massimo Garavaglia to officially launch the first Global Youth Tourism Summit, set to take place in Sorrento, Italy from 27 June to 3 July 2022. The Summit will bring children and youths from every global region together, giving them a platform to share their vision and hopes for the sector. In line with UNWTO’s commitment to youth empowerment, the initiative will also allow participants to network with leaders from the worlds of politics and business, making them a part of the decision-making process as tourism fulfils its potential as a driver of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Welcoming the first participants, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili emphasized that “tourism is a proven source of opportunity for young people – in cities and in rural communities, from every educational background and in every global region.”
Minister of Tourism Garavaglia added: “Young people can play a major role in overcoming the crisis facing the tourism sector. They can also be an active agent of recovery and change and play a leading role in the transition to a more sustainable tourism, which is essential if we want to achieve sustainable development. We are all looking forward to welcoming you to wonderful Sorrento.”
The young participants were also greeted by the UNWTO Ambassador for Responsible Tourism and celebrated football star Didier Drogba, who encouraged them to be the protagonists of tourism’s future and wished them all the best for the upcoming activities.
Online learning and sector-wide expertise
The launch of the Global Youth Tourism Summit coincides with the European Year of Youth. The GYTS series will include several webinars during which the participants will to learn about tourism and sustainability, culture and gastronomy, innovation and climate action, and other relevant topics.
The Italian national tourism agency (ENIT) and the region of Campania joined forces with the Ministry to support the implementation of the first edition of the Global Youth Tourism Summit. Private stakeholders, including the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre and Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education, have also recognized the importance of the Initiative.