Spain to host UNWTO Conference on Religious Heritage and Tourism

PR No.: PR 14046

The city of Elche in Spain will host the UNWTO International Conference on Religious Heritage and Tourism. The Conference, to be held on 27-28 November 2014 in collaboration with the State Secretariat of Tourism of Spain, will highlight best practices in sustainable development of religious tourism and how this segment can contribute to product diversification.  

Experiencing different ways of life and discovering cultural or religious sites ranks high as travel motivation. With consumer demand shifting to incorporate a broader cultural and historical approach of the places visited, and destinations competing to diversify their tourism offer, religious heritage is one of the main opportunities to position in tourism development.

“Elche, and its world heritage, is a perfect backdrop for this conference. A destination that unites the legacy of the civilizations that navigated the Mare Nostrum with the dynamism of a modern city”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, in signing the agreement to host the event with the State Secretary of Tourism of Spain, Isabel Borrego, and the Mayor of Elche, Mercedes Alonso.

The State Secretary of Tourism, Isabel Borrego, emphasized the importance for Spain of hosting an event "which will discuss one of the challenges faced by many destinations around the world, such as the value of cultural assets to diversify their sustainable tourism offer, while at the same time tapping into new segments of travellers".

The Mayor of Elche, Mercedes Alonso, underscored the importance of hosting this international event and to enhance the positioning of religious heritage and tourism. “Elche will be hosting global experts and showcase success stories from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and naturally Spain, identifying the best policies and strategies to protect our heritage, while contributing to sustainable growth through tourism”.

The Conference will address topics ranging from the tourism management of intangible heritage to the marketing aspects of religious tourism, aiming to identify the challenges and opportunities to foster effective and equitable partnerships to safeguard all forms of heritage.



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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