Hopes of peace behind ICCA & UNWTO signing

International Congress and Convention Association gains closer collaboration with United Nations World Tourism Organisation to bolster business events’ profile while encouraging cross-border harmony

ANOTHER agreement on collaboration has been signed between two organisations representing the meetings and travel sectors – but this time the standard courtesies were joined by a call for industry stakeholders to join a journey of hope amid international tension.

ICCA’s Senthil Gopinath, left, with Zurab Pololikashvili, of the United Nations World Travel Organisation

Congress organisers’ association ICCA and the United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO) agreed on a collaboration that would see ICCA recognised as the UN tourism partner for business events.

In addition to acknowledging business events as a key driver for socio-economic progress across the world, the partnership “reasserts the shared belief in the transformative potential of cross-border collaboration”.

“Both ICCA and the UN Tourism invite industry stakeholders, governmental bodies, and the wider global community to join us on this exciting journey… where business, leisure, and education can bring opportunity, harmony, and hope,” the ICCA statement announcing the signing in Madrid stated.

ICCA chief executive Senthil Gopinath said that UNWTO secretary-general, Zurab Pololikashvili is due to open the 63rd ICCA Congress in Abu Dhabi in October.

“By establishing closer links – and enabling greater access to each other’s professional networks, a new and distinctive narrative will be created around the potential of greater international collaboration,” ICCA said in the statement.

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Gopinath added: “This collaboration with the UN Tourism has been a long-held strategy of ICCA. This is great news not just for our members but for the whole international associations meetings and events industry,” said ICCA chief executive Senthil Gopinath.

“We know how intrinsically linked the world of business events and tourism are, but this formal partnership gives us privileged access to each other’s communities. There are many initiatives planned, which we will share in due course.

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“We have much to share, and much to learn. May this announcement mark the beginning of something quite remarkable,” Gopinath said.

UNWTO’s Pololikashvili said: “The partnership between UN Tourism and ICCA recognises the growing economic importance of business events for our sector. ICCA has been a valued affiliate member of UN Tourism since 2004, and our collaboration has yielded several joint publications and initiatives focused on advancing the meetings industry. With this new partnership, we look forward to shaping a more sustainable and resilient future for the business tourism sector.”



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