United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) - UPSC Notes

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is an important organization under the United Nations. Such international bodies and programmes play an important role in the IAS exam. In this article, you can read all about the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

International organizations and groupings are an important part of the International Relations section of the General Studies paper-2 in the UPSC Syllabus

UNWTO UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

United Nations World Tourism Organization – Roles & Responsibilities

The UNWTO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that works in the domain of tourism. Its roles and responsibilities are mentioned below:

  1. Promote sustainable,  responsible and universally accessible tourism.
  2. Special attention towards the development of sustainable tourism in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
  3. Promoting the potential of tourism in fighting poverty.
  4. Successfully implemented Collaborative Actions for Sustainable Tourism (COAST), a tourism project in Africa.
  5. Work towards mainstreaming tourism on the international agenda and championing the tourism sector as a driver of economic and social development.
  6. Improving competitiveness in the tourism industry worldwide.
  7. Work towards aiding the tourism industry contribute towards the eradication of poverty.

The World Tourism Organization is headed by its Secretary-General.

UPSC Prelims Facts - UNWTO

UNWTO and India

India became a member of the UNWTO in 1975. The nodal agency in India that works with the UNWTO is the Ministry of Tourism. 

The UNWTO leads the World Tourism Day celebrations every year on 27 September. In 2019, New Delhi,  India was selected as the host for the celebrations. The theme for the 2019 World Tourism Day was “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All”.

United Nations World Tourism Organization – World Tourism Rankings

The United World Tourism Organization publishes the World Tourism Rankings 3 times in a year. The rankings are assigned by taking into account various indicators like the number of international visitor arrivals, expenditures incurred by outbound travellers, revenue generated through inbound tourism. The countries ranked in the top 10 of World Tourism Rankings as per 2018 are listed below.

  1. France
  2. Spain
  3. United States
  4. China
  5. Italy
  6. Turkey
  7. Mexico
  8. Germany
  9. Thailand
  10. United Kingdom

Get a list of important reports by international organizations at the linked article.

Tourism in India

The tourism sector in India is an important component of India’s growth and economy. Some of the important facts concerning tourism in India are listed below.

  1. Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India stood at 10.89 million in 2019.
  2. Tourism in India generated revenue worth $ 240 billion in 2018.
  3. The share of tourism in the Indian GDP was at 9.2% in 2018.
  4. Tourism supported more than 42 million jobs.
  5. The tourism sector generated 8.1% of India’s total employment.
  6. By 2028, some studies have indicated that tourism in India is expected to grow by approximately 7% and it is expected to be a $ 450 billion industry.
  7. As per a report by Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, India is ranked at the 34th position among its member countries. 
  8. Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, 77 projects have been sanctioned. Read more on the Swadesh Darshan scheme in PIB dated 24 Dec 2019.

Also read UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritages in India. 

The Top 5 states/UTs that received the highest number of Foreign Tourists as per 2017 are listed below.

  1. Maharashtra
  2. Tamil Nadu
  3. Uttar Pradesh
  4. Delhi
  5. Rajasthan

The Top 5 states that received the highest number of Domestic Tourists as per 2017 are listed below.

  1. Tamil Nadu
  2. Uttar Pradesh
  3. Karnataka
  4. Andhra Pradesh
  5. Maharashtra

The Ministry of Tourism is working on improving tourism in the following niche areas:

  1. Medical Tourism
  2. Eco-tourism
  3. Cruise
  4. Rural Tourism

As per 2018, the highest number of foreign tourists visiting India are from the following countries.

  1. Bangladesh
  2. United States
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Sri Lanka
  5. Canada

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