UN Tourism Congress: Andorra, Creative Destination for Mountain Tourism!

The twelfth edition of the World Congress on Snow, Mountain, and Wellness Tourism, which took place in the Principality of Andorra on March 20 and 21, provided creative solutions to urgent issues that affect – among others – mountain tourism.

Co-organized by the UN Tourism and the Government of Andorra, this global meeting brought together more than 300 professionals from all over the world, joined by thousands of participants who followed the live broadcast.

Faced with the need to make tourism THE solution, the congress not only made it possible to exchange ideas with experts from various backgrounds but also to put them into practice by offsetting the carbon footprint of this event through prior actions, as highlighted by M.I. Sr. Jordi Torres Falcó, Minister of Tourism and Commerce of the Government of Andorra.

This legitimacy was supported by the executive director of UN Tourism (World Tourism Organization), Ms. Natalia Bayona, for whom Andorra and the Congress offer all the assets to propose virtuous actions that can be replicated in other mountain destinations.

The various sessions focused on topics such as education and training – with the active participation of the UN Academy based in Andorra or David Hailstones from Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education Switzerland,  as well as on the diversification of the offer, to compensate for seasonality, and now, rapid climate change and its tragic consequences, notably drought.

Among the solutions mentioned by the international speakers, we can cite wellness tourism, represented by Lászlo Puczko, CEO of Health Tourism Worldwide, Joan Muro, President of the Health Tourism Association of Andorra Health Destination, or by Csilla Mezősi, Secretary General of the European Spas Association, among others; rural tourism, via the good practices of three villages having received the distinction of ‘Best Tourism Villages by UN Tourism’: Saas-Fee (Switzerland), St. Anton (Austria) and Ordino (Andorra), as well as through segments such as slow food tourism or Premium experiences, including the strategy developed in Andorra, presented by Betim Budzaku, CEO of Andorra Tourism.
In this sense, the director of the Creative Tourism Network®, Caroline Couret shared cases of good practices, that make creative tourism, a “tool for converting the intangible heritage and cultural DNA of mountain destinations into authentic Premium experiences, which not only respond to the new demands of travelers in search of values and meaning throughout the year but also contribute to (re)creating an ecosystem at the territorial level, by integrating local communities and professionals from diverse sectors such as agriculture, crafts, creative industries, etc.

In addition to the CreativeFriendly labeled destinations, located in Quebec, in the Alpes Maritimes, or Portugal, Caroline Couret also praised “the assets of Andorra in welcoming these new profiles, more than demonstrated by the excellent organization and exceptional welcome of this Congress! “

An essential meeting to respond to the global challenges faced by the mountain and other kinds of destinations, while enjoying a wonderful environment!