WFTGA Sponsor Mrs Edmee Pistis Leventis awarded the OBE

Cypriot national Edmee Pistis Leventis has been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the New Year Honours list for services to Arts Philanthropy.

Mrs Leventis, born in Paphos in 1945, is a full time voluntary worker, in addition to being the former Chairwoman - and present member - of the Board of governors of Hellenic College.

She is also the former Chairwoman of the executive Board of Hellenic Trust and both Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Cyprus to UNESCO.

Educated at the Pancyprian University in Nicosia and the University of Rome La Sapienza, Leventis, the widow of the late Constantine Leventis, has three children.

Mrs Leventis has been a long term supporter of WFTGA through the A.G. Leventis Foundation and contributed to the re-writing of the WFTGA training materials


Posted: 01/06/15

First NATGA Guides Conference: Tirana, Albania

First Conference of Tourist Guides of Albania. So far there is no law for Tourist Guides in Albania, but tourism has grown by outstanding 28% last year! The National Association of Tourist Guides in Albania– NATGA ( member of WFTGA ),  is aiming to start professional trainings as soon as a new law on qualification will be passed in Parliament. The issue is to promote qualification and  training with WFTGA standard. President Felicitas Wressnig was invited to present WFTGA and its achievements

Posted: 12/20/14

World Committee on Tourism Ethics Praises Initiatives on Accessible Tourism

The fourteenth meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics meeting in Rome, Italy (17-18 November 2014) commended the efforts of UNWTO and its partners to advance Accessible Tourism for All. The Committee firmly supported the “Montreal Declaration – A World for All”, the outcome document of the recent World Summit on Destinations for All, and participated actively in the 1st Conference on Accessible Tourism in Europe held in San Marino on 19-20 November.  

Besides the issue of accessibility, the Committee also debated the ethical implications of the promotion of fair models of all-inclusive holidays, the impact on tourism of unfounded ratings on travel portals and the effect of the rise of sharing economy in tourism.

“Tourism makes a great contribution to economy, although in occasions it can be damaging at a local level, our Committee pays special attention to this. The tourism sector is undergoing great changes (online booking systems, user generated ratings, the use of ICT and social networks in tourism); topics which we have to understand and reflect in our initiatives”, said Pascal Lamy, chair of the Committee.

Welcoming the Members of the Committee, the Minister for Culture and Tourism of Italy, Dario Franceschini, said “In these difficult times, characterized by economic and financial instability, natural disasters and unpredictable socio-political events, we are all aware that development can only be addressed with a shared ethical framework”.

“I would like to thank the outstanding support received from the Italian Government in advancing the important agenda of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics. It is the fourth time that the Committee meets in Rome thanks to the excellent cooperation established with Italy and to the support of the Rome Centre for the Promotion and Dissemination of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. This collaboration shows the commitment of Italy to promote a more sustainable and responsible tourism development”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

The Committee further backed the “Be a Responsible Traveler” anti-trafficking campaign by UNWTO, UNODC and UNESCO in cooperation with the private sector, to stand against human trafficking and illegal trade in wildlife, cultural artifacts and drugs. In the sphere of Child protection, the Committee acclaimed the participation of UNWTO in the forthcoming Global Study on the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism and will follow up with attention the progress of this research.  

As the organ responsible for promoting and monitoring the implementation of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, the Committee applauded the growing number of companies and trade associations that have adhered to the Private Sector Commitment to the Code. By November 2014, a total of 356 signatories from 51 countries had committed to promote and implement the Code in their business operations.

The World Committee on Tourism Ethics is the independent body responsible for promoting and monitoring the implementation of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. Its 14th Meeting was held in Rome, host city of the Centre for the Promotion of the Global Code of Ethics in Tourism, under the chairmanship of Pascal Lamy.

The next meeting of the Committee will take place in Istria, Croatia, on the occasion of the 100th Session of the UNWTO Executive Council.

Note to editors:

The UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) is a set of principles designed to guide the development of tourism in a way that maximizes the socio-economic benefits of the sector, while minimizing any negative impacts. It was adopted by the UNWTO General Assembly in 1999 and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001.

The World Committee on Tourism Ethics, a subsidiary organ of the UNWTO General Assembly, reports directly to the Assembly. Members are elected in their personal capacities and not as officials of governments or representatives of their countries.

Committee Chairman: Pascal Lamy (Former Director General of the World Trade Organization); members: Mr. I Gede Ardika (Former Minister of Tourism of Indonesia), Mr. Yoshiaki Hompo (Former Commissioner of Japan Tourism Agency), Ms. Fiona Jeffery (Former Chair of the World Travel Market), Mr. Khelil Lajmi (Former Minister of Tourism of Tunisia), Mr. Jean Marc Mignon (President, International Organisation for Social Tourism), Ms. Tanja Mihalic (Head of Institute of Tourism, University of Ljubljana), Mr. Ron Oswald (General Secretary, International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers´ Association), Mr. Eugenio Yunis (Executive Vice President, Federation of Tourism Enterprises of Chile); alternate members: Mr. Hiran Cooray (Chairman, Jetwing), Ms. Suzy Hatough (Director of Dar Al-Diafa for Tourism Human Resources Development Consultancy) and Ms. Gunnur Ozalp (Secretary-General, Association of Turkish Travel Agents).


Posted: 12/09/14

First WFTGA Training Courses in Singapore

WFTGA Train the Trainer Courses have been delivered in Singapore with Lead International Trainers Viola Lewis and Ivana Curuvija and International Trainer Jean Wang

Posted: 11/24/14

WFTGA Training News: Cooperation with UNESCO and UNWTO

WFTGA Lead International Trainer Iris Barry has delivered the following courses:

Barbados UNESCO Site Trainers in October 2014

UNWTO/Punjab Heritage Tourism Promotion Board Guides October 2014

Posted: 11/04/14

Nadia Battani and Terry Quitevis: Sad News

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of two of our colleagues.  Nadia was a former Vice President of APTG Montreal and her untimely death has shocked her colleagues around the world 

Terry was the long term president of MULTAGAP our new members in the Philippines .

we express our condolences to their friends and families at this very sad time

Posted: 09/07/14

Today we are all Malaysians: Statement by Chairman of ICTP

Jul 18, 2014

"The World travel and tourism industry must come together and take leadership after the Malaysia Airlines (MH17) incident." This is the opinion voiced by Juergen Thomas Steinmetz, Chairman of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).

He said today: "On behalf of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP), our prayers are with the families of the victims of the terrible Malaysia Airlines shot down in the Ukraine. Our hope and commitment is to make this world a better place through responsible travel and tourism, an industry that cares about its earthly home and inhabitants. The world travel and tourism industry is strong, and must take leadership. Let us all be Malaysians today.”

He continued: "This crash is not the fault of the 298 victims on board this aircraft, not the fault of the management of Malaysia Airlines, and certainly not the fault of the Malaysian government. Malaysia Airlines remains one of the best airlines in the world with many devoted employees making a positive impact on the international airline industry.

"This could have happened to any airline flying over the region at the same time."

Steinmetz made this poignant statement about this horrific event:

"The Malaysia tourism slogan for many years has been ‘Malaysia is Asia.’ Today, I would go further and say, ‘Malaysia is the world.’ Today, we are all Malaysians and grieve for the lives that were lost and for the families that lost them."

Of course it’s a very bitter day for international travel and tourism and the international airline industry.

Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, Iran Air, Singapore Airlines, Thai International, Qantas, and many more international airlines could have had their state-of-the-art Boeing or Airbus shut down. Why it happened to Malaysia Airlines, and why it happened at all will be shown in time.

Today, the world grieves with the Malaysian people, and the families and friends of the victims on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

So many families and travelers on board this modern jet were enjoying one of the best onboard service available in modern aviation. Many were looking forward to a holiday on clean white sandy beaches in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, or Malaysia.

The flight crew was relaxed at 33,000 feet on this long stretch of a flight.

A large group of a 100+ were international experts on AIDS on a way to a conference in Australia, others were looking forward to going back home to Malaysia. A travel guide book on Bali found on the burning grounds in Ukraine tells just one of the stories.

The world today is filled with so many violent conflicts these days, and now in this time of Ramadan – a time that is set aside for peace for Muslims around the world.

Tourism is an industry of peace and understanding. It brings people together.

Let the 298 passengers and crew that were onboard MH17 not have died in vain. This is a time for the travel and tourism industry to come together and take the lead on an international platform.

The travel and tourism industry is strong and global. According to the UNWTO more than 1 billion people cross international borders every year.

Local conflicts are small compared to the amazing sites and the beautiful people you can find in any country or region of this big world.

Tourism and travel brings us together. And airlines are the catalyst that propels us to these memorable journeys. It doesn’t make any difference what your passport says.

Daylight is about to break in the Eastern Ukraine, and this will be the moment when the extent of this disaster will become more visible to the international media and investigators.

The International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) is a grassroots travel and tourism coalition of global destinations committed to quality service and green growth. ICTP engages communities and their stakeholders to share quality and green opportunities including tools and resources, access to funding, education, and marketing support.

ICTP advocates sustainable aviation growth, streamlined travel formalities, fair coherent taxation, and investments for jobs. ICTP supports the UN Millennium Development Goals, the UN World Tourism Organization’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, and a range of programs that underpin them.

For more information on ICTP, go to


Posted: 07/18/14
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