The UNWTO Lifetime Achievement Award has been bestowed on the deceased Arthur Haulot, founder of the International Social Tourism Organization (ISTO/OITS), for his pioneer work in promoting social tourism and the right to tourism for all.
Born in Belgium in 1913, Arthur Haulot founded the International Social Tourism Organization (ISTO/OITS) in Belgium in 1963. The Organization regrouped 170 active organizations in 35 countries in the Americas, Europe and Africa. The ISTO/OITS is currently an international non-profit organization whose mission is to promote access to leisure, holidays and tourism for all.
Mr Haulot was also President of the International Union of Official Travel Organisations (IUOTO), precursor of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Mr Haulot was instrumental in the foundation of the European Travel Commission (1946), the first Regional Commission within IUOTO, where he became chairman and played a key role in the granting of United Nations (UN) consultative status to IUOTO in 1948 and the designation by the UN of 1967 as the International Year of Tourism. In 1973, he founded the International Bureau of Social Tourism and became its Secretary General until 1988.
Honorary doctorate from the Free University of Brussels, Mr Haulot was a writer, a poet and the founder of the Biennale de Poésie de Liege. Arthur Haulot was also the director of ‘Journal of Poets’ and the president of the International House of Poetry. He was a member of the Socialist Party, established the basis of the National Youth Council and a respected Minister of Tourism, and one of the pioneers for ensuring the rights to tourism for all, social tourism.
Mr Haulot dedicated his life to tourism – in 1938 he was appointed as inspector at the National Holiday Office workers and later in 1939 as Commissioner General for Tourism (equivalent to Minister of Tourism in Belgium), a post he held for thirty-three years.
Mr Haulot passed away on May 25, 2005. The Award will be presented to his family during the UNWTO Awards Ceremony on 20th January 2016 in the framework of the Spanish Tourism Fair FITUR.