The Secretary-General of UNWTO recalled that tourism was an increasingly important economic activity with major social, cultural and environmental implications, in which a growing number of United Nations organizations were becoming involved. While UNWTO had been given a central role in steering the network, he expressed the hope that its work would be approached as an inclusive and fully participatory endeavour. His agency would welcome initiatives from any organization interested in contributing to sustainable tourism. His main concern was that there should be no duplication of effort and that the network should be able to build synergies among different actions and actors.
The network would be a flexible mechanism designed to promote inter-agency cooperation, mainly through a dedicated website where information concerning activities and programmes on tourism could be posted online by the focal points designated by the concerned organizations. He was confident that the network would contribute to furthering coherence in the system and would help in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Board took note of the developments in the above-mentioned areas and decided to launch formally the United Nations Tourism Exchange Network (UNTEN).