2020 Winter Edition

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As we enter this new decade, many in the various fields of travel and tourism are thinking deep and hard about their ambitions and objectives. It thus comes as no surprise that the UNWTO is reiterating its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals that were established in past years – launching a new survey into how these goals are being incorporated into tourism, practices, plans and strategies in destinations across the world.

Launching the survey, UNWTO Secretary- General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “2020 will mark the beginning of the decade of action towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and we have 10 years left to make the future we want.”

It is very much with these objectives in mind that roadmaps for the coming years are being set by travel professionals around the world, none the least of whom are those affiliated to Virtuoso, whose leader, Matthew Upchurch, has been exemplary in underlining the importance of developing a proactive approach to sustainability as part of the sales process. As global political leaders often fail to find common ground on these issues, perhaps industry will lead the charge. This changing mind-set is the backdrop for continuing innovation across the board across the sector – with an increasing number of destination marketing organisations creating a new dynamic. To this end, we are pleased to spotlight Italy (ENIT) – with a “keynote” interview with its President Giorgio Palmucci. We also highlight many of the new initiatives being put forward in that country in our regional spotlight – focusing on Europe in general and Italy in particular. In our Elite Travel Trends section, luxury travel guru Mary Gostelow revisits some of her favourite wine tourism destinations, we spotlight gastronomy, wedding tourism and luxury cruising, and we take a tour of some of the top players at ILTM Cannes 2019.

And when it comes to innovations and technology, we take a closer look at AI and machine learning, as robots and translation devices are set to revolutionise the industry.

Richard Barnes – Editor-in-chief