UNWTO strengthens ties with the Czech Republic
PR No.: PR15052
The Czech Republic and UNWTO have signed a two-year Cooperation Plan on the occasion of UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai’s first official visit to the country (Prague, Czech Republic, 3-4 August 2015).
Mr. Rifai’s visit followed an invitation from the Minister for Regional Development, Karla Šlechtová, with whom he met to discuss how to further strengthen the working relationship between the Czech Republic and UNWTO. Also present during the meeting were Klára Dostálová, First Deputy Minister, Section of Regional Development, Ministry of Regional Development; Jitka Mattyašovská, Director of Tourism, Ministry of Regional Development; Monika Palatková, General Director, CzechTourism; and Kateřina Fialková, Department of Multilateral Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The cooperation with UNWTO is very important for us and I am very glad that the Secretary-General has accepted my invitation to visit the Czech Republic. It is his first official visit to this country. During our meeting we have discussed many topics that can enhance the good cooperation between UNWTO, the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Regional Development in the field of tourism, including the competitiveness of the Czech tourism sector and capacity building. In this regard, we have discussed possible internships at UNWTO for the staff of the Ministry of Regional Development. Subsequently, their knowledge can be used in the Czech Republic. At the same time, we have agreed to collaborate on issues related to the European Union and the Chinese market. According to UNWTO the Asian market is increasingly important and the Czech Republic will obviously continue in this direction. I am very glad that I have had the opportunity to meet Dr Rifai in person,” said Ms. Šlechtová.
“Tourism is one of the strong pillars of the Czech economy, a clear result of robust political support. I would especially like to commend the Czech government for its commitment to facilitate visa procedures and improve competitiveness and quality of the sector at both national and regional levels, which will help boost Czech tourism and further advance its ability to deliver positive impacts across the country”, said Mr. Rifai. “I would also like to highlight the decision of the Visegrad 4 group, currently presided by the Czech government, to promote the region as one tourist destination. This collaborative effort has resulted in a significant growth of international visitors to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, and sets an excellent example for successful multilateral tourism cooperation“.
The meeting resulted in the signing of a Cooperation Plan between UNWTO and the Czech Republic , mapping out several areas of collaboration for the forthcoming two years. Among them, advancing institutional know-how in tourism in the form of analyses, studies and compilation of tourism statistics.
In addition, Mr. Rifai met with the Mayor of Prague, Adriana Krnáčová, to discuss the growing importance of city tourism and the rapidly evolving MICE industry in the Czech capital, which has been benefiting greatly from such tourism segments in recent years. Mr. Rifai also visited Karlovy Vary, one of the most important spa towns of the Czech Republic, to meet the Lord Mayor, Petr Kulhánek.
On the occasion of the visit, the Private Sector Commitment to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism was signed by four Czech tourism entities: The Association of Tour Operators and Travel Agents, Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism, The Association of Czech Travel Agents and the Royal Spa, Kur & Medical Spa Hotels.
Note to editors:
According to UNWTO data, international tourist arrivals in the Czech Republic reached 10.6 million (+3%), contributing over 6 billion euro in tourism receipts to the economy in 2014. The results for first quarter of 2015 show a growth of international tourist arrivals and tourism receipts with 7% and 3% respectively, compared to the same period in 2014.
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