Innovation, Sustainability and Digital Transformation: High-Level Panel in Andorra to Discuss Keys for the Future of Tourism

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

11th edition of the World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism

Under the theme “A new approach to the future” the 11th edition of the World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism, will be held on 23-24 March in Andorra and will feature more than twenty international speakers who will explore innovative solutions for the development of sustainable snow and mountain tourism. This was announced today at a press conference in Madrid in which the Director of Tourism of the Government of Andorra, Sergi Nadal, and the Executive Director of the World Tourism Organization, Zoritsa Urosevic, participated.

Over the two days of this edition, more than 300 professionals from the tourism sector, leading experts and multiple institutional representatives are expected to attend and discuss issues such as the recovery of the sector, sustainable development, the promotion of digitalization, the demand for more local, authentic and sustainable experiences, the preservation of resources and investment in innovation, among other matters. Participants will include Damien Zisswiller, Director of Engineering and Development of Territories at Atout France; Leigh Barnes, Corporate Communications Manager of Intrepid Travel; Michele Rumiz, Director of Slow Food Travel; Jeremy Smith, co-founder of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergence; and Jordi Grau, chef of Restaurant Ibaya.

Organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Government of Andorra and the Parish of Canillo, the Congress is part of the celebrations of the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development

At the press conference, Sandra Carvao, UNWTO’s Chief of Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness highlighted: “At a time of new challenges we have to take the opportunity to rethink the contribution of tourism to the development of mountain regions. Together, we must find concrete solutions that bring benefits and opportunities to communities, structured around sustainability and innovation to ensure a balance with the fragile environment of the mountains.”

Sergi Nadal, Director of Tourism of the Government of Andorra, said that “the driving force of the digital transformation for the reactivation of tourism is a key element for the future of the sector. This year, with the aim of aligning ourselves with this objective, the Congress will bring together top international to share experiences and new models that are being promoted around the world”. Likewise, Nadal underlined the strategic role of Andorra and pointed out that “for the country and, especially, for Canillo, as host parish, it is a pleasure to once again serve as the venue this year of this leading event for the tourism sector and, especially, for snow and mountain tourism”.

Reactivation and new trends

The inauguration of the 11th World Congress of Snow and Mountain Tourism will be presided by Xavier Espot Zamora, Head of Government of Andorra, Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General, and Francesc Camp Torres, Mayor of Canillo.

The Congress includes a high-level round table on the recovery and the future outlook for mountain destinations, which will serve as a framework to align actors from all sectors and frontiers with regard to policies and actions. The necessary policies to advance mountain tourism will be discussed by Mr. Fernando Valdés, Secretary of State for Tourism of Spain, Mr. Jordi Torres Falcó, Minister of Tourism and Telecommunications of Andorra; Mr. Simon Zajc, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of Slovenia; and Ms. Sofia Zacharaki, Minister of Tourism of Greece.

To address the main topics, the meeting will be divided into four sessions that will discuss digital transformation and the tourism of the future; gastronomy and sustainable consumption; innovative experiences in mountain destinations; and the growing consumer demand for the sustainability of destinations. In addition, in the context of the Congress, UNWTO will present, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the recently published report on Sustainable Mountain Tourism

World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism

The Congress is an initiative of the seven parishes and the Government of Andorra, together with the UNWTO, with the aim of constituting a forum for permanent debate on the development and sustainability of tourism in mountain areas. Held biennially, the first edition took place in 1998 in Escaldes-Engordany and, since then, each edition is organized in a different parish.