CHENGDU Cheap Kevin Huber Jersey , China, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations WorldTourism Organization (UNWTO) is likely to play a larger role in thefuture as tourism has become the world's biggest industry with anestimated 10 percent contribution to the global gross domesticproduct last year.

The latest UNWTO data show a continued growth in global tourism.In January-June, international tourists increased to 598 million,making it the strongest half-year rise since 2010.

A sustainable tourism for development and growth is expected ofthe sector amid global economic sluggishness. Its role in promotingunderstanding between countries as well as people-to-people andcultural exchanges is meanwhile highlighted especially in the faceof terrorist threats in many parts of the world.

As the 22nd session of the UNWTO General Assembly held on Sept.13-16 in Chengdu, China came under the framework of theInternational Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, UNWTOSecretary General Taleb Rifai said he is very proud of therelevance.

"I feel very proud to have contributed to expanding the capacityof travel and tourism to the progress of the SDGs (UN 2030Sustainable Development Goals) that guide our common action to2030. This General Assembly is a unique opportunity to continueadvancing together," he said.

With a focus on sustainable development and tourism, thebiennial UNWTO gathering this year has highlighted the importanceof building partnerships for development, taking tourismcooperation concerning the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiativeas an example.

Discussions related to the China-proposed initiative during ahigh-level session following the opening ceremony on Wednesdaycovered such travel facilitation details as visa policy andinsurance in future cooperation.

Li Jinzao, head of the China National Tourism Administration(CNTA), told reporters the discussions were fruitful andsuccessful, while Rifai described them as "conducive."

"China is an inspiration to others in terms of its supportivetourism policies and in placing tourism at the center of itspoverty alleviation and national development strategies," Rifaisaid.

More than 1,300 delegates including tourism ministers from over130 countries attended the UNWTO meeting in Chengdu, capital ofSichuan province and an economic center in western China.

Zurab Pololikashvili said that compared to the last meeting, thenumber of delegates had doubled this time, adding that he is veryimpressed with Chengdu's performance in hosting the UNWTOgathering. The 40-year-old Georgian ambassador to Spain was electedto be the new UNWTO chief for 2018-2021 during Thursday'ssession.

Pololikashvili, during a brief meeting Friday with Li, the CNTAchief, pledged continued UNWTO cooperation with China, which hesaid is a "main partner" of the Madrid-based 156-member tourismorganization.

The UNWTO will "continue cooperation with China in a productiveway," he said, while expressing the hope for further cooperationwith Chengdu on projects concerning the Belt and Road Initiativethat aims to build trade and infrastructure networks along ancienttrade routes to seek common prosperity.

On the newly-launched World Tourism Alliance (WTA),Pololikashvili said UNWTO and WTA "are brothers, sisters."

The China-initiated non-governmental, non-profit organizationwas established in Chengdu on Sept. 12. Chinese Vice Premier WangYang, during his speech delivered at the UNWTO meeting's openingceremony, said that the WTA's role will be helpful andcomplementary to that of the UNWTO in global tourismdevelopment.

"My vision for UNWTO is fully based on the needs of its memberstates, considering current political and economic uncertaintiesacross the globe," Pololikashvili said on the UNWTO's future underhis leadership in a UNWTO press release.

"One of the top priorities will be to expand the UNWTOmembership ... Cooperation with new members on tourism'scontribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) isessential," he added.

Pololikashvili, who will take office in January, also proposedto hold global leaders' summits on travel and tourism bienniallyand annual ministerial meetings on safety, security and travelfacilitation, among others, as UNWTO thematic platforms "so thatdialogue among decision-makers results in effective inter-sectorialcoordination."

Sustainability, technological impacts and security are listed byRifai as major challenges to the global development of tourism.Pololikashvili believed the UNWTO should focus on long-termchallenges, strengthen its expertise and prepare management andmarketing guidelines for different tourism destinations consideringcurrent technological advances, new business models and the rise ofdigital tourism.

On Friday, delegates at the UNWTO meeting approved, with 51votes for, 23 against and 56 abstentions, a non-bindinginternational convention on tourism ethics after more than twoyears of drafting work to transform the UNWTO Code of Ethics forTourism, a move deemed as an important step in global tourismgovernance. The convention is expected to go into effect after itis approved by countries.

The delegates also approved St. Petersburg, Russia as the venueof the next session of the UNWTO general assembly scheduled for2019. Enditem

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by Chris Mgidu, Robert Manyara and David Musyoka

NAIROBI, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- At least two people were killed and several others injured in overnight violent protests that broke oss Kenya after Uut across Kenya after Uhuru Kenyatta was officially declared the winner of the presidential election.

Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati announced Friday that Kenyatta, who was competing for his second term, garnered 8.2 million ballots or 54.27 percent of the total votes against his rival Raila Odinga who grasped 44.74 percent of the votes.

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