The United Nations World Tourism Organization is a global platform for tourism experts and policymakers to collaborate. Founded in 1974, the UNWTO is comprised of 159 member states, 6 associate members, and 2 observers. It remains the most powerful tourism entity in the world and strives to include tourism in international policies aiming at sustainability, sector competitiveness, and poverty reduction. Championing anti-racism, anti-sexism, and anti-discrimination efforts, the UNWTO also advocates for diversity in the tourism sector and equal opportunities through analyzing countries’ needs and providing education programs. It endeavours to involve the private sector, local tourism entities, research institutions, the United Nations, and civil society to help better the tourism sector. As part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the UNWTO facilitates a worldwide venue for skill-sharing, which serves crucial in creating a sustainable yet competitive tourism sector.
This committee is designed for both beginners and experienced delegates alike. Position papers, although strongly recommended, are not required. However, delegates who wish to be considered for an award must submit their position papers by January 22nd, 2021, at 23:59 PST. More information about position papers can be found on page 3 of the Background Guide.
While tourist infrastructure and income often depends upon the surrounding environment, tourism is damaging the environment at an increasing rate. Recent exponential growth in the tourism market has led to elevated over-tourism and the presence of various environmental issues including littering or waste management, pollution, land degradation or soil erosion, and greenhouse gas emissions. Countries already grappling with climate change are experiencing even more dire circumstances, and the world is at a tipping point regarding the mitigation and reversal of the damage dealt by tourism and climate change. The world is already seeing many iconic tourist destinations and historic sites take devastating environmental casualties, and this is only the beginning of the environmental damage that tourism will bring without intervention.
Economies, both local and national, too reliant on tourism are susceptible to financial devastation from tourism-hindering contingencies. Beginning in 2020, these effects were exemplified globally by the SARS-CoV-2, or Covid-19 pandemic. Iconic businesses and tourist destinations face bankruptcy in these unprecedented times and rely on government funding or other sources of income. Even not during contingencies, tourism fluctuates—failing to provide a stable source of income given factors including the local climate, infrastructure, trends, and tourist volume. This is reflected upon the economies and workers within the tourism sector, as the latter face unstable incomes, part-time jobs, and little opportunity for promotion or industry changes. The world desperately needs a plan to shift the tourism sector towards sustainability and aid affected countries when contingencies inevitably arise.
Jasper He | Director
A sophomore at St. George’s School, Jasper has the distinct honour of serving as the United Nations World Tourism Organization Director at VMUN 2021. Since embarking on the adventure of Model UN in Grade 7, Jasper has been captivated by the diplomacy, debate, friendships, and memories encapsulated within this unique passion of his. Whether pulling all-nighters through midnight crises or walking into the committee room late in the mornings, Jasper frequently finds himself reminiscing in unforgettable experiences unique to MUN. Outside of the committee room, Jasper can be seen kicking up a storm in martial arts, on the ice at the Vancouver Curling Club, skiing the slopes of local mountains, fostering his music in playing piano and trumpet, and enjoying some downtime with family and friends. Jasper is ecstatic to see what delegates will bring to VMUN 2021 and wishes everyone the best of luck in their preparations!
Owen Ebose | Chair
As a senior at Burnaby North Secondary School, Owen is beyond delighted to spend his final year of Model United Nations staffing UNWTO at VMUN 2021. After attending his first conference in the United States, Owen gained a passion for debate and diplomacy. Not only does he love the competitive and educational environment that Model UN forges, but he has met countless like-minded individuals who have greatly contributed to his high school experience. Because of this, he recommends that all students attend VMUN for a positive and enlightening weekend of competition. Outside of debate and speech, Owen can be found playing basketball with friends, or reading a good book. He is confident in his team’s ability to foster a constructive and welcoming environment within the UNWTO committee room, and is extremely excited to see everyone at the conference.
Emily Ramlochun | Assistant Director
Entering her junior year at Crofton House School, Emily is honored to serve as the Assistant Director of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Having been involved in MUN for over three years, she is captivated by the fast-paced debate and the Model UN community. As a staff member, the unforgettable experiences and skills that MUN has provided her with, is something that she hopes to be able to share with delegates. In her free time, you can find Emily obsessing over cute dog videos, going on spontaneous adventures with friends, making an absurd amount of acai bowls, and reading about current events and political issues. Being her fourth consecutive year attending VMUN, Emily is looking forward to an incredible iteration and cannot wait to meet everyone.
You can contact the Director at email@example.com. Any questions regarding the committee or its debate procedures will be answered by email. Position papers must also be submitted to this address.