Tourism has grown at an accelerated pace over the last decades to become one of the leading global socio-economic sectors. In 2012, for the first time, over one billion international tourists travelled the world and UNWTO forecasts continued growth in the years to come. Cultural tourism plays a leading role in creating new socio-economic opportunities for tourism development at local, regional and national level, while presenting important challenges.
As a follow up to Siem Reap Declaration, adopted at UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture in 2015 in Cambodia, it is crucial to develop, coordinate and implement tourism and other public policies and practices in an integrated manner. International Congress on World Civilizations and Creative Tourism will address how tourism can bring to life world civilizations through the collaboration with creative industries, which encompasses architecture, design, arts, technology, science, among others. The Congress will be an excellent platform and unique opportunity for public and private tourism stakeholders to present and share views, experiences and good practices in developing strategies that encourage and facilitate new and innovative forms of cultural tourism. The aim of the Congress is to discuss how cooperation and partnerships between tourism and creative industries can play a significant role in safeguarding and promoting tangible and intangible heritage, as well as in generating socio-economic benefits for all stakeholders.
Jointly organized by the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Congress will bring together Ministers of Tourism and other public and private tourism stakeholders as well as internationally recognized professionals within creative industries, experts, and scientists linked to the tourism industry, including related to world civilizations.