World Congress on Snow, Mountain and Wellness Tourism to Focus on New Travellers

World Congress on Snow, Mountain and Wellness Tourism to Focus on New Travellers

“Mountainlikers: Sustainability and wellbeing, the keys to mountain tourism” will be the theme of the 12th edition of the World Congress on Snow, Mountain and Wellness Tourism, which will take place on 20-22 March in Andorra within the framework of the United Nations’ "Five Years of Action for the Development of Mountain Regions".

To address the main topics, the meeting will focus on health and wellness tourism, sustainability, the promotion of premium tourism in mountain areas, emerging tourism products and the training and recruitment of human talent. 

On this occasion, UN Tourism will present its recent report prepared together with the Mountain Partnership (MP) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) “Understanding and Quantifying Mountain Tourism”. Best Tourism Villages by UN Tourism awardees will also be represented by Saas-Fee of the Swiss region of Valais (BTV in 2021), St. Anton am Arlberg of Austria (BTV 2023) and Ordino of Andorra (BTV in 2023).  

Reflecting the demand of today’s tourist

This year, as a new element, the Congress will focus on the theme of "wellbeing", reflecting the demand of today’s tourists and the need to adapt offerings to new trends among travellers and to the challenges posed for mountain destinations by the need for diversification and the advance of climate change. 

Organized by the Government of Andorra and UN Tourism, with the collaboration of the Comú (municipal government) of Encamp, the Congress also has the support of other municipalities in Andorra and two main sponsors: Andorra Telecom as technological sponsor and Creand Crèdit Andorrà as silver sponsor. 

Experiences in the implementation of "wellness tourism" will be featured by speakers such as Lászlo Puczko, CEO of Health Tourism Worldwide, Joan Muro, President of the Health Tourism Association of Andorra Health Destination, and Emma Haefeli, Marketing Director of CHENOT GROUP (Switzerland), among others. 

Another topic to be discussed will be that of "spa tourism", with a view to further developing this segment in mountain areas with the participation in the Congress of Csilla Mezősi, Secretary-General of the European Spas Association. 

Sustainability will also be a key subject, with interventions such as that of Javier Corso, who will present the project that National Geographic has carried out together with Andorra Turisme to manage the impact of the sector on the environment and on people entitled: “Andorra al natural, el entorno en el que germinan las ideas" (Andorra in its natural state: an environment where ideas germinate). Javier Corso is a National Geographic Explorer, a distinction that is only accorded to a handful of people around the world who work to protect the planet. 

Education and capacity building will also have a prominent place in this edition of the Congress, where Rui Zhou, President of the Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland, together with María Abellanett, President of CETT in Barcelona, will discuss the human resources challenges and needs in mountain tourism for the near future.  

Sport will be another prominent theme, to be developed by David Astrié, Director of Icònic Andorra, who will present the medical-sports residential centre that aims to become a European and world leader for sports training at altitude. Successful experiences of representatives from Best of the Alps, Lech Zürs Tourism (Austria), the Pyrenees and Pic du Midi Agency (France) will also be highlighted.  

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