Abu-Ghazaleh and the UN World Tourism Organization Sign Partnership, First International Smart Tourism Center to be Established

CHENGDU, China – The Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The partnership agreement will result in the establishment of the first International Smart Tourism Center.

According to the MoU signed in Chengdu, China, on the occasion of the UNWTO 22nd General Assembly, by Mr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General and Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, TAG-Org Chairman and Special Ambassador for the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, the two parties will promote and foster the role of tourism in the achievement of the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) through innovation and technology.
This joint action, which includes the creation of an International Smart Tourism Center, will help to make tourism destinations “smarter” thus contributing to make them more competitive and sustainable and establishing a common vision on technology and innovation for smart tourism.

In addition this partnership will help raising awareness among all tourism stakeholders in the public and private sector, as well as among civil society, of the need to develop, implement and use innovative technological solutions to reap the full potential of smart solutions for a sustainable tourism development.

Upon signing the MoU. Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh said: "Having UNWTO as a partner in such a challenge is a great privilege and we are excited to start working on this unique idea of the International Smart Tourism Center with full force for the benefit of this important and vital sector.  UNWTO under the leadership of Mr. Taleb Rifai has made many positive advances and I thank him for all his effort and futuristic vision for a better world."

Mr. Rifai said: "We are extremely pleased to see this partnership coming to life. Making the most of innovation and technology to build a more competitive and Sustainable tourism sector is one of the priorities of UNWTO.
We are privileged to partner with the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization   " Headquartered in Amman and hosted by Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization, the Center will be headed by Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh as chair and will have a Board of Directors which includes high-profile individuals, Special Ambassadors of the International Year of Sustainable Development 2017 and experts in the field of tourism.
Mr. Taleb Rifai will act as honorary chair. 

Senator Abu-Ghazaleh has chaired more than 14 UN taskforces and initiatives.
He was Vice Chair of the UN Global Compact as well as member of several UN programs under Secretary-General Kofi Anan and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon mandates. Most recently he was appointed Special Ambassador of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and member of the United Nations Social Impact Fund High Level Advisory Board (UNSIF-HLAB).

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