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UNWTO and EBRD partner to foster inclusive and sustainable tourism

By EBRD  Press Office

UNWTO and EBRD partner to foster inclusive and sustainable tourism

UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai and EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti

Advancing resource efficiency and promoting youth inclusion

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have signed an agreement to work jointly in promoting inclusive and sustainable tourism as a driver of socio-economic growth. Advancing resource efficiency and promoting youth inclusion are two of the major priorities of the agreement.

The inclusion of youth in the tourism sector through training and employment opportunities, resource and energy efficiency, and capacity building for SMEs are among the key areas covered by the agreement. UNWTO and the EBRD will also cooperate in identifying best practices and in knowledge sharing.

EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, said “Tourism is a major contributor to the economies of many EBRD countries of operations. This partnership will enable both organisations to work together, with both the public and private sector,  to  promote sustainable and inclusive practices in the tourism industry. The EBRD aims in particular to promote youth inclusion in the industry in regions where young people are facing substantial challenges in participating in the economy due to skills mismatches and limited access to training opportunities.”

“The tourism sector is making a fundamental contribution to the current economic recovery and can play a leading role in advancing inclusive development, namely in terms of job creation. By partnering with the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction we will be able to create opportunities to generate more and better employment opportunities while supporting the transition of the sector to a more sustainable path” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

The agreement was signed in the framework of the EBRD’s commitment for supporting inclusive and sustainable tourism in the countries of operation of the Bank, particularly in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region and the Western Balkans. The cooperation will benefit from UNWTO’s experience and expertise in the areas of education and training through the UNWTO.Themis Foundation and of sustainability through initiatives such as the Hotel Energy Solutions (HES) and the Collaborative Actions for Sustainable Tourism (COAST) project.


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a United Nations specialized agency, is the leading international organization with the decisive and central role in promoting the development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism know-how. Its membership includes 157 countries, 6 territories, 2 permanent observers and over 400 Affiliate Members. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and Flickr.

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