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QTA launches second phase of cooperation agreement with UNWTO

February 26, 2014 11:05 am

Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) launched the second phase of QTA’s cooperation agreement with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). UNWTO Secretary General Dr. Taleb Rifai and QTA Chairman His Excellency Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi attended the ceremony, which was held one day after the launch of the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030.

Signed in mid-2013, the cooperation agreement between QTA and UNWTO is aimed at developing the necessary policies, regulations, and strategies to take Qatar’s tourism industry into the future.

Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, QTA Chairman, said: “QTA is making extensive efforts to make Qatar a leading tourist destination and develop world-class standards for local tourism. The launch of the second phase of the agreement with UNWTO demonstrate our cooperation with local and foreign stakeholders to develop the tourism sector. Our efforts are based on Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, which will guide us to build a mature and sustainable tourism industry in the country.”

“The second phase of the agreement covers crucial aspects entry visas, regional development programs and training and technical support for tour operators. It also covers tourism marketing, promotion and management; training programmes for QTA employees in cooperation with UNWTO; and the development of a tourism statistics system to develop data collection mechanisms that will better reflect the sector’s development in the coming years”, added, Al Mohannadi.

Under the cooperation agreement by the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, QTA and the UNWTO will work together to update and develop processes based on the highest international standards and within the framework of a set of laws, benchmarks, and conduct rules for all tourism products and services. A policy framework and several sustainability index tools will also be provided. In addition, fresh guidelines on policies will be issued and new laws relating to investment in Qatar’s tourism sector will be implemented.

Global Code of Ethics for Tourism
24 companies from the tourism industry in Qatar have signed their commitment to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism yesterday. The signing, held in the presence of His Excellency, Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, Chairman of QTA, and Dr Taleb Rifai UNWTO Secretary General. The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism will play a key role in developing the tourism sector as a vital contributor to the national economy.

The ceremony comes as a result of QTA’s campaign over the past months urging tourism stakeholders to sign the Code as part of several joint initiatives with the UNWTO. Widespread endorsement of the Code is essential to ensure that the Qatari tourism sector meets the highest international standards and offers world class products and services.

The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is UNWTO’s core policy document that serves as a blueprint for the development of sustainable tourism. Adopted in 1999 by the UNWTO General Assembly and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001, it is intended to guide the development of tourism in a way that maximizes the socio-economic benefits of the sector, while mitigating any negative impacts on society. As of November 2013, 187 tourism associations across the world have signed on to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.