UNWTO gains observer status to the Enhanced Integrated Framework Board

PR No.: PR13083

In recognition of the importance of tourism as a key export sector for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), UNWTO has been granted observer status to the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF). The EIF is an Aid for Trade multi-donor programme supporting LDCs to be more active players in the global trading system by tackling supply-side constraints to trade (Geneva, Switzerland, 17 December 2013).

The EIF, a partnership among the 49 LDCs and those recently graduated from LCD status, eight key UN agencies and 23 bilateral donors, is an initiative created to support trade as the engine of economic growth and socio-economic development in LDCs. UNWTO, which has collaborated with the EIF in various forms since 2010, namely through the Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD), is the eighth organization to join the partnership.

“Tourism is a key sector for LDCs due to its potential to reduce poverty, create employment, particularly for women and youth, and build linkages to other productive sectors such as agriculture, handicrafts or creative industries” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “UNWTO is very pleased to join the EIF Board as this will allow us to work in a coordinated manner to advance the potential tourism has to contribute to development and the competitive participation of LDCs in international trade”.

"By welcoming today UNWTO as new observer agency, the EIF partnership recognizes the growing importance of tourism as a key service export for LDCs – said Dr Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director of the EIF – 36 out of 42 Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies indicate tourism as a high potential sector for sustainable development and poverty reduction".

Tourism accounts for 6% of total exports and 56% of the exports in services in LDCs, and is considered by both LDCs and their development partners, as one of the most important strategic sectors in trade in services for fostering sustainable development.

The significance of international tourism for LDCs has grown rapidly and consistently above the worldwide average in past years. Between 2000 and 2012, the number of international tourist arrivals in LDCs grew from 6 million to 21 million. In the same period, international tourism receipts (trade in services) grew from US$ 2.6 billion to US$ 13 billion in 2012.

UNWTO participation in the EIF Board and its collaboration with the SCTD should increase Aid for Trade resources for an integrated approach to tourism development in LDCs.


Useful links:

Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF)

UNWTO Institutional and Corporate Relations Programme

UNWTO/DEVCO Guidebook: Sustainable Tourism for Development

Press Release: Tourism identified as key sector for high impact in Aid for Trade



UNWTO Senior Media Officer: Marcelo Risi

Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60

UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme

Tel: +34 91 567 8100 / Fax: +34 91 567 8218

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