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Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization

Mr. Rifai is Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) based in Madrid, Spain. He held this position since 1 January 2010. He was unanimously elected at the 18th session of the General Assembly of WTO (October 2009), following the recommendation of the Executive Council of the UNWTO in fact May 2009.

The World Youth Student and Travel Confederation (WYSE Travel Confederation) education is a longtime affiliate member of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). In recent years, our Cooperation taken a variety of forms, one of the most notable being the joint production of the publication Questions Young Travel - Understanding the global phenomenon of youth travel in 2008. This collection of our combined research drew attention to the unique motivations of young travelers, and the compelling potential of this dynamic market segment.

Since then, the story has gone from strength to strength and earlier this year we came together againto develop an initiative to highlight this potential governments, official tourism organizations and business leaders. This report is the first step in this direction.In 2010, young travelers have generated $ 165 billion in respect of global tourism receipts, claiming financial value to the global tourism industry and local economies.

Travel the power of youth is not just an economic story. The social and cultural benefits for the young traveler and the host communities are significant, long-term and sustainable measurable wayother forms of tourism. As the tourism industry itself goes through unprecedented changes, it is Travel youth who has the most to contribute, through the innovation required of it by pioneer, heavy tech-aid, social and environmental conscious customers, namely young people. In this report, you will find a collection of case studies in the private sector that reflect the knowledge and industry expertise to meet the needs of their dynamic young customers. 

There are also excellent examples of industry associations and organizations of how development partnerships, creating joint strategies with governments and tourism and the construction of the Ability to travel Youth made a demonstrable difference in social and economic terms global development. Wyse Travel Confederation and UNWTO share the belief that there is great potential for governments their economies and to unlock the Travel power of youth to significant mutual benefit. While some have realized this opportunity, many could do more to accommodate travel of young people in their long-term tourism strategy. Following consultation with the World Youth and Student Travel Conference in 2011 Barcelona, we look forward to developing and publishing a series of specific recommendations to help Governments, official tourist agencies and entrepreneurs take the next step. We thank our colleagues in the UNWTO and the many professionals and practitioners that brought their valuable information in this report and our important program.

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