Yesterday, on December 11, International Mountain Day is celebrated. This year’s celebrations focused on the promotion of mountain products as a tool to boost local economies. Tourism can play a fundamental role in this regard as one of the main economic sectors in many mountain destinations. UNWTO and the Mountain Tourism Cluster have signed an agreement to collaborate on issues of seasonality in mountain destinations.
Seasonality is a common issue for a large number of tourism destinations worldwide, resulting in important economic challenges in terms of the profitability of companies and wealth generation in destinations. Seasonality also has considerable environmental and socio-cultural impacts including congestion management, use of natural resources, seasonable employment and social pressure.
A new UNWTO Affiliate Member, the Mountain Tourism Cluster works to find innovative and creative ways of overcoming seasonality and create sustainable development-related strategies in mountain destinations.
“Given the impact and complexity of seasonality in tourism, it is fundamental to ensure that innovative programmes are put in place by public and private sectors that increase visitation during off peak months and foster demand all year around. We are thus very pleased to be collaborating with the Mountain Tourism Cluster on research and actions aimed at this important challenge,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
The agreement is another important step in UNWTO’s work in the area of mountain tourism. Within this framework, UNWTO and the Government of the Principality the Andorra have co-organized the World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism since 1998. In March 2016, the 9th edition of this bi-annual event will explore the way in which sport and adventure activities can help mountain destinations maximize the socio-economic benefits brought by tourism all year round.