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Andorra Opens Debate on Sustainability & Wellness in Mountain Destinations

Encamp, Andorra, January 18, 2024 / TRAVELINDEX / Sustainability and wellness will be two of the key elements of the debates at the 12th edition of the World Congress of Snow and Mountain Tourism, which this year includes, for the first time, the term wellness in its name, becoming the World Congress Snow, Mountain and Wellness Tourism and thus reflecting new trends.

The event, which will take place on March 20, 21 and 22, 2024 in Andorra, will feature more than twenty international speakers who will explore new trends in the sector, focusing on the offer of sustainable and wellness experiences.

● For the first time, the World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism includes the term wellness in the name of the event, thus becoming the World Congress of Snow, Mountain and Wellness Tourism.

● The parish of Encamp will host this 12th edition of the Congress.

This edition expects the participation of more than 350 professionals from the tourism sector. Top-level professionals and multiple institutional representatives will debate, for two days, on issues such as sustainability as the development axis of the tourism sector, tourism diversification through the appearance of tourism products that respond to the new demands of future travelers, and technological transformation with a focus on AI applied to the tourism sector.

Organized by the Government of Andorra and the Comú (city council) of Encamp, together with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Congress also has the support of the other municipalities of Andorra and of two main sponsors: Andorra Telecom as technological sponsor and Creand as financial sponsor.

Laura Mas Barrionuevo, senior consul of Encamp, the host parish of this edition, highlights the importance of hosting the Congress again at a time when the Comú is working intensely to diversify the economy, promoting investments and actions that help boost the tourism sector. “Encamp wants to be a leader in the modernization of the parish and in generating synergies between the public and private sectors to help achieve sustainable economic development.”

Jordi Torres Falcó, Minister of Tourism and Commerce of Andorra, recalls that mountain destinations must have a new perspective and innovative strategies to diversify and improve the quality and competitiveness of the tourist offer. For this reason, the Congress will propose strategies to find joint solutions that improve tourism quality. Other topics will be discussed, such as the effects and challenges generated by climate change, the global competition and the seasonality in mountain areas.

The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, highlights the importance of focusing on sustainability in mountain destinations because of their vulnerability to the impact of climate change, and the need to support the development of an annual tourism that protects natural resources and empowers local communities.

The speakers and program for this edition will be published soon on the Congress website:

The value of sustainiblity and wellness in the touristic offer of mountain destinations

Changes in the market have demonstrated the importance given by today’s tourists to wellness experiences when choosing a destination. For this reason, the Congress will dedicate one of the four sessions to wellness tourism. The promotion and differentiation of mountain tourism, emerging tourism products and the education and training of professionals in the sector will be the themes discussed in the three other sessions proposed by the Congress.

World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism
The Congress is an initiative of the seven Communes and the Government of Andorra, together with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), with the aim of creating a forum for permanent debate on the development and sustainability of tourism in mountain areas. It is organized every two years: the first edition was held in 1998 in Escaldes-Engordany and since then, each edition is organized in a different parish.

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