Culture, reflected in traditions, languages, monuments, music, handicrafts and art around the world, is of immeasurable inherent value to its community of origin.
At the same time, culture is a key tourism asset, inspiring millions of tourists to visit new destinations each year. Sustainably managed, tourism can be a considerable force for the promotion and safeguarding of the tangible and intangible heritage it relies on, while encouraging the development of arts, crafts and other creative activities.
For many years, UNWTO and UNESCO have been working together to raise awareness about the strong interlinks between tourism and culture, while emphasizing the need for mutually beneficial partnership models. Success will require engaging culture and tourism stakeholders at all levels to address cross cutting responsibilities in areas such as governance, community engagement, innovation and technology and corporate social responsibility.
At a time of an unprecedented tourism growth, with more than one billion tourists crossing international borders each year, the first UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture will provide a much needed global platform for policy-makers, experts and practitioners in both fields to meet and identify the key challenges and opportunities for sustainable development of cultural tourism.
This Conference aims to be a milestone in the collaboration between tourism and culture. It will bring together, for the first time, Ministers of Tourism and Ministers of Culture with the objective to identify key opportunities and challenges for a stronger cooperation between these highly interlinked fields.
It will be a unique opportunity for policy-makers, experts and practitioners in culture and tourism to meet and identify the opportunities and challenges of developing ‘new’ models of partnership between the two sectors – working together to realize the immense potential of cultural tourism to build inclusive economic growth, social development and cultural preservation.
Hosted by the Kingdom of Cambodia in Siem Reap – Angkor Wat from 4 to 6 February 2015, the Conference will count on the presence of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia and Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.