youth-to-play-an-active-role-in-tourism-s-futureThe first Global Youth Tourism Summit concluded with the launch of the Sorrento Call to Action, a bold and ground-breaking vision for young people to be active participants in tourism’s restart and growth as a pillar of sustainable and inclusive development.

The Sorrento Call to Action was adopted on the final day of the landmark summit, during a simulation of the UNWTO General Assembly and signed by 120 participants from 57 countries and aged between 12 and 18. It was drawn up based on the discussions of a series of webinars where young participants learned and shared their thoughts on some of the key issues facing tourism right now, among them innovation and digitalization, plastic pollution and the growing relevance of sport, culture and gastronomy for destinations.

The document goes beyond recognizing that the voice of youth must be consulted in policymaking and instead states that young people now need to be active participants in every stage of the decision-making process across the whole tourism sector. The Global Youth Tourism Summit is a hugely important first, for UNWTO and for our sector, and that young talent from every region will be supported to give them a stage to voice their ideas about tourism future The final text was adopted with 52 favourable opinions during the simulation of a UNWTO General Assembly.UNWTO youth-to-play-an-active-role-in-tourism-s-future

The General Assembly simulation opened with high-level interventions both in person and via video messages from His Holiness Pope Francis, Italian Minister for Tourism Massimo Garavaglia, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio, Italian Minister for Youth Policies Fabiana Dadone, and the UN Envoy for Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake. Zurab Pololikashvili mentioned that The Global Youth Tourism Summit is a hugely important first, for UNWTO and for our sector, and that young talent from every region will be supported to give them a stage to voice their ideas about the tourism future.

Massimo Garavaglia emphasized Italy as being the proud hosts of this first-ever event and encouraged the young people present to become the responsible travellers of tomorrow and to keep their optimism for making their dreams a reality. Jayathma Wickramanayake highlighted the importance of promoting the active engagement of young people as agents of transformational change, challenging the status quo, and realizing the Agenda 2030. People, planet and prosperity Three pillars are enshrined in the Sorrento Call to Action People, Planet, and Prosperity.

For people, for example, the young signatories call for the safeguarding of human rights, especially of persons with disabilities through adequate tourism strategies and policies.

Written by: Matthew Thomas