Bhutan Hosts Record-Breaking Executive Training Programme
From 25th-28th June, the 6th UNWTO Asia/Pacific Executive Training Programme on Tourism Policy and Strategy was held in Paro, Bhutan, attracting a record number of participants.
Through a series of lectures, group discussions, debates and presentations, 26 international participants from 20 UNWTO Member States along with nine local attendees were provided a forum for learning and knowledge-sharing in tourism management practices, policy formation and strategy development.
The training programme was specifically designed to support tourism policy makers and managers in the Asia Pacific region, and to strengthen effective and responsive policies and strategies that in turn must adapt to changing priorities and concerns at national and destination levels.
The programme was also designed to deepen participants´ understanding of tourism´s role as a contributor to socio-economic development (particularly in terms of poverty reduction and private sector participation), best ways to manage rapid tourism growth to ensure its sustainability, and ways to optimize the benefits of regional and sub-regional cooperation in the development of international tourism.
Though participant countries each face unique opportunities and challenges in terms of tourism policy and strategy development and application, the importance of adopting rigorous evidence-based systems and indicators for sustainable tourism development and operations at the national, destination and site levels was noted by many participants. The possibility of developing National Observatories of Sustainable Tourism such as those already established in China was discussed, with a recommendation that a Global Observatories of Sustainable Tourism (GOST) Network could be established in order to share learning and good practice in sustainable tourism monitoring.