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UNWTO “Centre of Excellence” for Destinations takes Another Step Forward

Montreal/Madrid : The Secretary-General of UNWTO, Francesco Frangialli, welcomed the commitments of the Federal Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec to provide start up funding for a planned Centre of Excellence for Destinations to be located in the City of Montreal.

The funding was due to the excellent preparatory work by Canadian partners Tourism Montreal and University of Quebec as well as George Washington University and National Geographic Magazine - all Affiliate Members of the Organization. He particularly singled out the leadership of Andre Vallerand, Chairman of the Affiliate's Destination Council for his vision and commitment to the idea of a Centre of this kind.

Frangialli said "this is an important landmark in the step by step creation of the new Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED) which is due to be formally launched at the UNWTO Assembly in Cartagena, Colombia, in November. Now we shall be seeking launch partners from UNWTO worldwide membership to ensure that this initiative results in a truly global Centre."

He added "the CED will be an important addition to the work of the organization in this field to bring global principles of quality, sustainability, competitiveness and training to the local level. It will also focus the activities of our Affiliate Members Destination Council. Its main areas of activity in helping UNWTO pursue excellence in tourism Destinations will be research recognition and global quality coherence. It's overarching goal will be to support UNWTO's Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and help inculcate it into destination management and visitor behaviour."

The project is being spearheaded by Andre Vallerand, Chairman of UNWTO's Destination Council and representative of Tourism Montreal and University of Quebec's Francois Bedard.

For further information please contact:

UNWTO Press and Communications Department

T: (34) 91-567-8193 / (34) 91-567-8194 / F: (34) 91-567-8218  -