The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the most widely recognized and leading global organization in the field of travel and tourism. The Activities of the World Tourism Organization include conducting market research, develop human resources, reduce Government Policies, etc.

Besides, it serves as a global hub for tourism policy, issues, and a real source of travel information. The members consist of 145 countries and territories. It has more than 350 affiliated members. Also, the affiliate members include the local government, tourism association, education institutions, and private-sector like airlines, hotels, and tour operators.

In addition, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) plays a vital role in the development of responsible, sustainable, and globally recognized tourism. Also, it aims to contribute to economic development, global peace, prosperity, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. While pursuing this aim, the WTO pays attention to the interests of the developing countries in the field of tourism.

The World Organization Tourism (WTO) previously known as the International Union of Official Travel Organizations (IUOTO). It came into existence as a result of the transformation of IUOTO.  Then in the year 2006, the WTO has been renamed as the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to distinguish it from the World Trade Organization.

Subsequently, the first General Assembly of UNWTO was organized in the year 1975. The headquarter of the UNWTO was set up in the year 1975 in Madrid, Spain. Afterwhich, UNWTO then slowly became the inter-governmental technical body that works with all sectors of travel and tourism. It is a leading global tourism organization in the field of tourism.

Activities of the World Tourism Organization

WTO is engaged in many activities. The activities of this organization cover all aspects of tourism worldwide. Therefore, it works closely with the rest of the global association along with the commercial and non-commercial bodies of the tourism industry. Also, it works towards the goals of developing sustainable tourism throughout the world. The activity performs by the organization should ensure it directs towards the economic benefits and not to damage the environment or local cultures.

  1. Conducts Market Research:

The UNWTO conducts market research. The research has helped to set the standard of global levels, it measures the impact of tourism on the local economy, explores trends, and predicts the future of tourism.

  1. Develop Human Resources:

It also focuses to develop human resources. Therefore, to achieve this, UNWTO has set up a leading tourism education, training, and research institution, such as TedQual and GTAT.  Besides, it offers seminars, distance learning courses to meet the global standard of travel and tourism.

  1. Reduce Government Policies

UNWTO tries to ease travel throughout the world. In order to ease the travel, it works to eliminate or reduce the government policies on passport requirements, visas, and so on.

  1. Conducts Travel and Tourism Research

It conducts research studies on the travel and tourism market. Thus, the research helps to promote and develop tourist places and assist in physical planning.

  1. Collects Travel and Tourism Information

To collect travel and tourism information is other activities of the World Tourism Organization. Thus, it collects data on travel and tourism. The data is then circulated to its members on various aspects of tourism.

  1. Prepare Tourism Draft

It makes drafts for the global agreements on tourism

  1. Collects Latest Trend of Tourism

It provides the latest data to its members on the new trend in the field of tourism

  1. Participates in Regional Tourism Activities

In addition to these global activities, the WTO participates in regional activities. Each region of the world receives special attention from the WTO representative of that region.

  1. Finds Out the Solution and Problems of Tourism

The representatives try to solve and help tourism impacts arise at regional levels. Subsequently, it serves as a link between tourism authorities and the (UNDP) to create special development projects.

  1. Organises Tourism Seminars and Conferences

It organizes national seminars and conferences to deal with tourism problems. During these events, the members exchange their experiences and work for common goals. In fact, common goals include safety and security, tourism policies, etc.

  1. Improves Living Standard Through Tourism

One of the main projects of the UNWTO is to remove poverty through sustainable tourism and ecotourism, to protect children from sexual abuse, disaster management, and ecotourism.

The Aims of UNWTO

The major aim of UNWTO is to promote and develop tourism. It makes sure tourism shall contribute to the development of economic, global peace, and prosperity. Besides, it also ensures the universal respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without the distinction to race, sex, language, or religion.

While pursuing the above aim, the UNWTO shall pay special attention to the interest of the developing countries in the field of tourism.

The UNWTO maintains an effective link with the organ of the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Therefore, UNWTO acts as a link between the tourism authorities and UNDP to create development projects, arrange seminars, and to promote tourism. Thus, the UNWTO act as an executing agency of UNDP.

Publication of the UNWTO

In order to cover all the data on the aspects of travel and tourism, UNWTO has various publications. They are:

World Travel and Tourism Mondial

International Travel Statistics

Economic Review of World Tourism

Technical Bulletins and Travel Research Journal.

The Functions of UNWTO

General Assembly

The highest organ of the UNWTO is the General Assembly. The Members consist of delegates representing the Full Members, Associate Members, and the Affiliate Members. The General Assembly is scheduled after two years.

The General Assembly has established six support organs. The function of these organs is to apply the guidelines given by the Assembly in their respective region.

Executive Council

The members of the Executive Council are elected by the Assembly at a ratio of one member out of every five members. The task of the General Assembly is to take all necessary steps in consultation with the Secretary-General. Also, it serves to implement the decisions of the General Assembly.


It consists of the General Secretary and the staff members. The work of the General Secretary is to carry out the general policy and work program of the organizations as per the directions of the General Assembly and the Executive Council.

The Membership of UNWTO

UNWTO has offer three types of membership. They are:

 Full membership

It is open to all sovereign states.

Associate membership

It is open to all the regions that are not responsible for external relations.

Affiliated membership

It is open to all global bodies. The global bodies can be inter-governmental and non-governmental. However, both of them should have a special interest and operate in tourism-related industries. The industries include transport, travel agents, hotels, travel insurance, etc.


Thus, from the above discussion, we can say that the World Tourism Organization assists its members country in reducing all the travel formalities, it organizes conferences and seminars to understand the challenges faced by its member countries related to tourism. Besides, It provides information related to travel and tourism and indulges in various tourism promotional related activities.

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