Innovation and sustainability, objectives of the UNWTO in Fitur 2021

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At FITUR: International Spanish Tourism Fair (Madrid, May 19-23, 2021), UNWTO will ensure that sustainability, innovation and responsibility are a central part of the conversation. FITUR was the last face-to-face world fair to take place before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is the first to return, sending a clear message of the tourism sector’s determination for a safe and responsible restart.
This year’s fair will continue the long-standing partnership between UNWTO and FITUR, with the United Nations specialized agency for tourism addressing the most pressing challenges facing the sector today, looking to the future and supporting the tourism talent of the morning.

Sustainable development takes the lead
The week begins with the gathering of the 25 winners of the UNWTO ODS Global Startup Competition for a special workshop on winning investment for scaling up. On Tuesday, May 18, the best entrepreneurs and innovators will be held at the Royal Theater of Spain. The hybrid event will celebrate the diversity of award-winning ideas to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and the people behind them. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres praised UNWTO’s leadership in promoting innovation and will send a message to the winners.

Tourism for all
With the official opening of FITUR on Wednesday, May 19, the UNWTO hosts a meeting of experts in Accessible Tourism that presents good practices in accessibility with a particular focus on tourism in rural and natural areas. Sustainability will be the central theme of the UNWTO Affiliate Members meeting on Friday 21 May, giving its members, from the private sector, local and regional governments and academia, the opportunity to present their work and network both in person and virtually.

Investment and innovation for development
The twelfth edition of the Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR) will be held virtually on Thursday, May 20. The meeting of tourism leaders from the public and private sectors will focus on developing effective strategic partnerships and assessing potential travel and tourism trends after the pandemic.

On the same day, UNWTO will also appear on FITUR Talent, highlighting the increasingly important role that innovation can play in providing tourism education and training for all. Similarly, exploring the potential of technology to create opportunities, this time for destinations, the Roundtable on Tourism and Film will see UNWTO and Netflix come together to assess the role that television and film can play in the promotion of locations and experiences.