World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO)



World Tourism Organisation (WTO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations and a leading international organisation in the field of tourism. The main goals of WTO are to promote sustainable tourism development, to popularise it as a driver of economic growth and sustainable development and to reduce its negative impact. It encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, education and training in the field of tourism, thus making tourism part of the instruments in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.


The current projects of the organisation are as follows:

  • Consulting Unit on Tourism and Biodiversity which provides consulting services on request of member states on various issues related to bio-diversity as part of sustainable development of tourism;
  • Guide for rational use of electricity in hotels – Manual of energy efficiency and efficacy in the hotel business;
  • Protecting children – campaign for irreconcilability of the public and tourism industry with tolerating the exploitation of children in all its forms;
  • Silk Road – a WTO project covering 28 countries including Bulgaria, which gives new opportunities for market expansion and tourism product development through cooperation with the other member states;
  • Sustainable tourism – an initiative to reduce poverty (ST-EP) – promoting poverty reduction through the provision of assistance for sustainable development projects. It focuses on activities that are aimed at reducing poverty and creating jobs for people living on less than one dollar a day.
  • Turkom is an essential part of the global policy of the World Tourism Organisation to strengthen communication between National Tourism Organisations and the media. Joint efforts and constructive communication can contribute to positive growth and good future development of one of the largest industries – tourism.
  • The World Tourism Day is celebrated annually on 27 September. The theme for 2013 was “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future”. The theme highlights the increasing role of tourism in a more efficient use of water resources and access to them. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the Millennium Development Goals.


For further information about the WTO structure and the participation of Bulgaria in the governing bodies of the organisation: