The Global Youth Tourism Summit (GYTS) is a platform, developed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), that aims to empower youth to take active part in decision-making processes in the tourism sector.
The GYTS platform includes a series of international events, workshops and other educational initiatives, that give children and youth an opportunity to learn, share and discuss ideas, and to shape their visions for the future of sustainable tourism within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The first global event took place in Sorrento, Italy, from 27 June to 3 July 2022. It brought together children and youth, aged 12-18, with the UN and government officials, representatives of the tourism industry, globally recognized celebrities, experts and other major stakeholders.
Participants explored different aspects of responsible and sustainable tourism through a variety of interactive activities: webinars, workshops, roundtables, masterclasses, plenary sessions, cultural and sports activities and UNWTO General Assembly simulations.
The world is home to the largest generation of young people in its history and it is expected to continue to grow. This has brought the necessity of developing new platforms for working with and for young people – at local, regional, national and international level.
Young generations are considered to be an important stakeholder in the efforts of achieving the SDGs. Youth, recognized as a major force for development and social change, have the potential to drive also the sustainable development in the tourism sector.
Considering the rapid growth of youth tourism over the last decade, as well as its social, cultural, economic and environmental impact, it is essential to directly involve young people in the discussions and actions related to sustainable development and future of tourism industry.
For young people, travel is a form of learning, a way to meet other people and explore other cultures. It is a means of self-development and an essential part of everyday life. Youth tourism creates a diverse social and cultural understanding and fosters daily interaction between young people and their hosts.