Madrid, Spain, 22 June 2022 – The first UNWTO Global Youth Tourism Summit will bring more than 130 young people from 60 countries to Sorrento, Italy, next week, giving them a unique platform to play a leading role in the future of the sector.
The event, first of its kind, is organized by UNWTO and hosted in Italy in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and the National Tourism Agency (ENIT). It will unite global youth aged between 12 and 18 with leaders from across the sector, including politicians and key figures from the worlds of sport, gastronomy, entertainment and innovation. The Summit has received the medal of the President of the Republic of Italy and patronage of the Department of Youth Policies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “The Global Youth Tourism will celebrate and empower the next generation of tourism leaders. It will help build a lasting legacy by providing young people with the skills and knowledge they need to transform tourism not only in their communities but everywhere”.
Due to take place from 27 June to 3 July, the Summit will feature six Masterclasses, alongside two evening talks, as well as a simulation of the UNWTO General Assembly and interactive sessions where participants will be able to engage directly with UN and with Ministers of Tourism and other high level officials from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Croatia, Germany, Georgia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Spain, Montenegro, Sao Tome & Principe, Yemen and many other UNWTO Member States.
The Italian Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia, adds: “The Italian government is proud to host the first World Youth Tourism Congress in Sorrento. We are confident that ideas and proposals will emerge that can advise governments on how to improve the global tourism offer and make it closer to the needs of new tourists”.
Against the backdrop of the BIT travel trade show in Milan, UNWTO Director for Europe Alessandra Priante joined representatives of the project partners to share more details of the landmark Summit. The inaugural event will be held around the theme of International Sustainable Tourism. The program will include interactive activities oriented towards the Sustainable Development Goals and how they interact with tourism, during which participants will learn how to build a sector that combines sustainability, culture, gastronomy, innovation and climate action.
Empowering the next generation
The Global Youth Tourism Summit is a unique platform to celebrate and empower the next generation of tourism leaders
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “The Global Youth Tourism Summit is a unique platform to celebrate and empower the next generation of tourism leaders. It will help build a lasting legacy by providing young people with the skills and knowledge they need to transform tourism not only in their communities but everywhere.” UNWTO Director for Europe Professor Priante added: “Tourism offers opportunities to the youth. But youth gives tourism the opportunity to become stronger and more resilient. We are extremely proud of the first generation of GYST-ers, who already show their promise and commitment to transform tourism – starting from their local communities.”
In Milan, the organizers confirmed that several Italian Ministries will be involved (education, foreign, south), as will a number of key UN institutions, including FAO, UNICEF and ITU. The Summit will bring together major international players convened by UNWTO, including the Global Tourism Economy Research Center of Macao, the Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland, the Azerbaijan National Tourism Agency, Hilton International, Mastercard Europe and MSC Crociere. Confirmed institutional guests will include Commissioner Gabriel, the UN’s ENVOY for YOUTH Jayathma Wickramanayake, some of the UNWTO Ambassadors for Responsible Tourism Valeria Mazza, Didier Drogba, Gino Sorbillo and many other international VIPs and influencers.
Hosts anticipate ‘unique experience’
“A moment of osmosis between past, present and future can only benefit Italy which is being reorganized and reborn. We believe in the contribution and enthusiasm of the generations of tomorrow, not only for the lessons they can teach us and for the necessary comparison of what will come next, but also because new opportunities arise from this dialogue, not only in terms of tourist offerings, but also in terms of tourist training,” says Enit President Giorgio Palmucci.
Felice Casucci, Councillor for Tourism of the Campania Region adds: “The institutional chain must be compact at a time when it is necessary to have a broad vision and focus on young people for a great international message of peace. Sorrento is a unique opportunity to put together a highly recognized tourist destination with a narrative that is open to the territorial contexts and regional identity values among the most exclusive and attractive in the world.”
The Mayor of Sorrento, Massimo Coppola says: “Our city is honored to host the first edition of Global Youth Tourism. The objective of the event is to bring participants, selected and from all over the world, to live a unique experience, promoting the comparison and ensure that the new generations can pursue the mission of environmental sustainability. To animate it will be young people aged between 12 and 18 years, who will confront themselves and contribute to the definition of the World Tourism Agenda 2030.”