Trade Forum Features

News Brief

25 July 2011
ITC News

Tourism as a vehicle for gender equality and women’s empowerment

As one of the largest wealth and employment generators in the developing world, tourism provides an opportunity to achieve greater gender equality both politically and economically, according to the Global Report on Women in Tourism. The report, jointly released by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and UN Women, indicates that despite the positive contribution of women, there needs to be greater emphasis on bridging the wealth and skills gap between men and women in the industry. Women in tourism are highly concentrated in low-skilled and low-paid areas, typically earning 10-15% less than their male counterparts. With a focus on empowering women in the industry and addressing this imbalance, the report makes a series of strategic recommendations based on gender sensitive policies, corporate decision-making, increased legal protection against discrimination, and education. ‘Greater gender equality will contribute to the overall qual­ity of the tourist experience, with a considerable impact on profitability and quality across all aspects of the industry,’ the report says.  

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UNWTO 2011 Ulysses Prize and Awards 


The UNWTO Ulysses Awards recognize public tourism institutions, enterprises and non-profit organizations for contributions to the advancement of tourism through innovation, policy and governance. The awards celebrate the development of sustainable and strategic initiatives within the industry while also pro­moting the advancement of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. The 2011 Ulysses Awards ceremony was held in Portugal on June 2nd 2011. This year the winners included a travel tool designed to promote accessible tourism for the disabled in Canada and a dis­covery trail in northern Peru that centres on the ancient Moche culture. The Ulysses Awards Cere­­­mony was one of the main events held during the UNWTO Algarve Forum 2011. The for­um, a milestone in the industry, focused on addressing political and strategic challenges through a variety of events under the theme of ‘Tourism and Science: Bridging Theory and Practice.’ 

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Emerging economies fuel recovery as growth remains weak in rich countries – United Nations

The recently released UN World Econ­omic Situation and Prospects report says that while global recovery in today’s post-crisis environment is still fragile, developing econ­omies are fuelling growth. The report suggests that larger developing economies such as China, Brazil and India continue to lead global recovery while the performance of richer nation is weaker amid concerns over public debt. Gross world product is expected to grow by 3.1% in 2011 and by 3.5% in 2012, a slight increase from forecasts released in early 2011. The report also suggests that in general unemployment in developing countries, most notably in East Asia, has reverted to pre-crisis levels. However, there is also an indication that recovery could suffer a setback in response to public debt problems, surges in food and commodity prices, as well as the global impact of events such as the Japanese earthquake and subsequent nuclear threat. The report suggests that a strict policy approach is needed to address these issues and ensure that measures are taken to promote sustainable medium and longer term growth within both the developing and developed world.  

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Apps for development winner announced 


In the last issue of International Trade Forum we profiled the World Bank’s Apps for Development competition. By publishing open data, the competition created a competitive global environment that effectively harnessed the growing influence of crowd sourcing tech­nologies. The competition challenged software developers and development practitioners to create apps related to one or more of the Millennium Development Goals. The first place winner was StatPlanet, a data focused tool that enables users to effectively analyze and explore World Bank indicators through interactive maps and graphs. The application aims to provide policy- and decision-makers with quick access to World Bank data in a format that caters to their specific needs or interests. StatPlanet is available as both a Web and desktop application, facilitating constant access even where Internet connectivity is not available. Other winners range from virtual life games and mapping tools to simple Google Chrome extensions, demonstrating the diversity of entries received.  

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Global Aid for Trade efforts vital for boosting development, says Ban Ki-moon 


Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon recently appealed to donors to maintain their support for Aid for Trade efforts to help developing countries accelerate development and benefit from global economic growth.

Addressing the World Trade Organization’s Third Global Review of Aid for Trade in Geneva on 19 July 2011, Mr. Ban said that Aid for Trade is a crucial building block of the global partnership for development, accounting for as much as one third of official development assistance.

However, he also noted that the annual rate of increase for Aid for Trade has slowed sharply, and urged the donor community not to fall short of the present level of Aid for Trade, stressing the need to pay attention to the unique needs of the least developed countries.

‘In all our efforts, let us remember that meeting our development goals is ultimately about building self-sufficiency and helping people help themselves,’ he stated.

Emphasizing that point, Mr. Ban said that the next UN conference, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, will focus on sustainable