International Conference on Universal Values and Cultural Diversity in the 21st Century: How can tourism make a difference? (Yerevan, Armenia)

Date

18 October 2012 - 19 October 2012

Yerevan
Arménie

Jointly organised by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia and the UNWTO, the International Conference on “Universal Values and Cultural Diversity in the 21st Century: How can tourism make a difference?” took place in Yerevan on the 18th and 19th of October, 2012. The event drew together high-profile international public and private sector stakeholders to discuss the role of sustainable and responsible tourism as a driver of tolerance, intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and the safeguarding of core cultural values. International and regional experts participated in panels on:  the integration of universal values in responsible tourism; tourism, religion and intercultural dialogue; tourism and the protection of cultural heritage sites; solidarity and tourism’s contribution to poverty alleviation; the links between tourism and intangible cultural heritage; and corporate social responsibility in tourism.

Participants at the International Conference on “Universal Values and Cultural Diversity in the 21st Century: How can tourism make a difference?” (18-19 October 2012, Yerevan, Armenia)

At the close of the Conference, the Yerevan Declaration, highlighting the role of ethical tourism in advancing intercultural dialogue, was adopted unanimously by the event's participants. The Declaration calls on stakeholders from across the sector to promote ethical values in tourism development, help to enhance cultural diversity and safeguard cultural heritage, disseminate the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and to strive to implement its principles. It urges cooperation between governments, the private sector, host communities and other key-players, stresses that care must be taken to maintain the authenticity of local cultural heritage and avoid over-commodification, and encourages community-based tourism projects and the training of tourism staff in this regard. The document is based on the understanding that tourism involves the kind of cultural interaction that builds understanding and promotes respect for diversity, thus serving as a stepping-stone towards tolerance, solidarity and mutual respect.

Also on the occasion of the Conference, five of Armenia’s most prominent tourism companies signed the Private Sector Commitment to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism on the occasion of the International Conference. Representatives of Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan, ARM Hotels, Tufenkian Hospitality, the Union of Incoming Tour Operators of Armenia (UITO) and Zvartnots Armenia International Airports, signed the Commitment in the presence of the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Armenia, H.E. Mr. Tigran Davtyan, and UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Taleb Rifai. Thereby, these joined an ever growing list of private sector companies and associations that have pledged their dedication to responsible and sustainable tourism by signing the Commitment. Their signature represents a public pledge to uphold, promote and implement the values espoused by the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.

More information on the Conference is available at event's official website:http://www.tourismevents.am/Default.aspx

Armenian signatories of the Private Sector Commitment to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, with H.E. Mr. Tigran Davtyan, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Armenia, and Mr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General


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