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May 22, 2023

New narratives in tourism

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FA News Desk
Image credit UNWTO
Image credit UNWTO

A special Thematic Session at the 118th session of the UNWTO Executive Council in Punta Cana assess the evolution of tourism communications for more effectively portraying tourism as an essential driver of development.

With tourism high on the political agenda like never before, UNWTO is working to build a new narrative around tourism as a force for development and transformation leading the shift in tourism communications, with a greater focus on the sector’s unique power as a driver of development and opportunity.

Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said, “We have made huge progress over the past few years in making tourism’s relevance more visible and more appreciated, by governments and by tourists themselves. But we need to make it even clearer.

For this reason, UNWTO is working to build a new narrative around tourism as a force for development and transformation.

“Representing the global leader Interbrand, Pedro Zarzalejos, Associate Director, Strategy and Borja Borrero, Executive Director Iberia, EMEA & Latam charted the evolution of branding and analyzed how this has impacted the tourism sector.

Michael Collins, Founder and Managing of Travel Media gave expert insights into the changing relationship between Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) and editors, journalists, and content creators.

UNWTO first partnered with Instagram in 2021, firstly to help lead recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and then to empower destinations to embrace digital storytelling.

In Punta Cana: from Instagram, Ernest Voyard, Director of Public Policy, noted how creators are increasingly moving beyond aspirational travel-related content and instead focusing on issues around sustainability and full immersion in destinations.

From Meta, Sharon Yang, Director of External Affairs, noted how the platform has seen a shift towards creators providing informative tourism and travel-related content, again moving away from more aspirational images and films.

Leading journalists and editors from the Dominican Republic assessed how to place tourism on the editorial agenda at every level.

UNWTO welcomed leading content creators to give their expert insights into changing trends in tourism-related content: Instagram Creators Chloé Léger and Marion Payr, provided their experiences from the Dominican Republic from the point-of-view of tourism and travel-creators.

They noted: A growing interest in content linking tourism with issues including women’s empowerment, community development and wildlife conservation.

An opportunity for creators to influence the travel choices and behaviors of tourists, in particular in influencing younger consumers to travel more responsibly and ethically.