UNWTO Secretary-General to Attend World Youth and Student Travel Conference 2011 Barcelona

The World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation is pleased to announce that Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, will attend this year’s conference in Barcelona, 20-23 September.

The Secretary-General will open the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC). Now in its 20th year, the conference constantly adapts to understand and explore the ever-changing characteristics, motivations and needs of young travellers and the industry that supports them.

“Mr. Rifai’s attendance at our conference is extremely welcome and re-affirms the importance of our cooperation and belief that the youth travel industry plays an increasingly vital role in the development of global tourism.” said Robin Wicks, Director-General of WYSE Travel Confederation.

It is the shared intention of UNWTO and WYSE Travel Confederation to spotlight the significant social and economic value of the youth travel sector to governments, official tourism organisations and destinations worldwide.

We believe there is potential for governments and tourism organisations to increase their engagement with this valuable market segment to significant mutual benefit and we will launch our initiative at WYSTC 2011.

The youth and student travel market accounted for twenty percent of international arrivals in 2010, generating receipts of 165 billion USD.  Much of this money remains with locally owned businesses and communities contributing to poverty alleviation and sustainable economic development.

For further information, please contact Deborah Fitzgerald at or Jeff Funnekotter at 


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
, a United Nations specialized agency, is the leading international organization with the decisive and central role in promoting the development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism know-how. Its membership includes 154 countries, 7 territories, 2 permanent observers and over 400 Affiliate Members.

The Organization encourages the implementation ‎of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, with a view to ensuring that member ‎countries, tourist destinations and businesses maximize the positive economic, ‎social and cultural effects of tourism and fully reap its benefits, while minimizing its ‎negative social and environmental impacts.‎

More information regarding Taleb Rifai:

About WYSTC 

The World Youth and Student Travel Conference
brings together over 800 delegates specialising in creating exceptional experiences for young people. From cultural exchange to volunteering and language learning, these organisations unite around the knowledge that today’s young travellers are tomorrow’s global citizens and high-yield tourists.

If you would  like to register or would like more information, please visit

About WYSE Travel Confederation

WYSE Travel Confederation ( is a nonprofit membership association that supports the global youth, student and educational travel industry. It is endorsed by the UNWTO. Its annual event, the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC), takes place this year 20-23 September in Barcelona.


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