NEW YORK -- The World Tourism Organization will meet in Israel this
month to discuss an industry code of ethics as well as the
promotion of "peace tourism."
The Millennium Week in the Holy Land conference is scheduled to
take place from Sept. 12 to 24.
Specific activities will begin in Amman, Jordan, on Sept. 17
with a seminar on Integrated Quality Management for Tourism,
followed by a meeting of the WTO's Regional Commission for the
Middle East and an audience with King Abdullah II.
In Bethlehem, meetings have been scheduled for Sept. 18 and 19
with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and local tourism
professionals to discuss development issues.
On Sept. 20 and 21, there will be a WTO seminar on Implementing
Ethical Principles in Tourism Development and a meeting with the
president of Israel at Tel Aviv's Sheraton Moriah Hotel.
The week will end with a journey to the Sinai peninsula and a
meeting of the WTO's high-level Strategic Group at Egypt's Red Sea
resort of Sharm El Sheikh.
The nearly 250 anticipated attendees are expected to include
tourism officials from Greece and other Mediterranean rim and
Middle East countries as well as senior officials of the WTO.
In addition to a focus on having tourism contribute to the
economic development of the area, the group will speak to the need
for a global code of ethics to address the deception of tourists;
the inability of sites to cope with large numbers of visitors; how
to honestly assess destinations, accommodations and services, and
how to clarify the meaning of travel advisories.
The meeting in Tel Aviv was requested by Israel's minister of
tourism, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, and will be under the auspices of
Israel's Ministry of Tourism.
The Middle East was reported to have the world's highest tourism
growth rate in 1999, at 17.5%.
For information, send e-mail to the WTO at [email protected].