Here in Belgrade, the captial of Serbia, delegates are now deep into WYSTC 2016. The 25th edition and also the 10th anniversary of WYSE Travel Confederation.WYSTC delegates received a very special welcome from Mr Zoltan Somogyi, Executive Director for Programme and Coordination, UNWTO and are also reminded that WYSE and the UNWTO have recently renewed their MOU – a framework seeking new opportunities that will continue to elevate and develop youth travel in 2017.
Following this great welcome another stellar programme kicked off with thought-provoking discussions about political unrest, youth and media: risks, opportunities, and destinations on the fringe.
The number of terrorist attacks around the world are staggering, it is astonishing to learn that there were approximately 11,800 terrorist attacks globally in 2015 and over 500 people died just in September 2016 as a result of terror and this month isn’t even over.
With tourism often taking a big hit following such incidents the road to recovery can be long and difficult for affected destinations, this is especially for countries vulnerable to politically motivated violence.
According to the World Tourism and Travel Council, it can take up to 13 months for a destination to recuperate and get their tourism industry back on track.
Bearing this in mind – youth travel is at the forefront of destination development and we are fortunate that the younger generation persists to travel and can aid destination recovery.
David Chapman, Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation stated that “youth travel should not be a marginalized tourism sector, instead elevated as a key source market to help destinations re-build and strengthen their visitor economies.”
So, he puts a call out to all national tourism boards and tourism ministers alike to recognize the value of investing into product development and marketing campaigns to attract youth visitation.
For more information, visit www.wystc.org