RTS and UNWTO take Swedish tourism innovation to a global level.

UNWTO and the Swedish Travel and Tourism Industry Federation (RTS), take the project ”Down to Earth for Tourism” to a global level. In the coming year, pilot projects in three continents – Asia , Africa and Europe (Sweden), will be carried out. A global network and a platform for Down to Earth for Tourism will be established as a cutting-edge project with space as a catalyst for innovative solutions for sustainable tourism development.

Sweden is among the top contenders for its innovation, space technologies and sustainable tourism. It’s very exciting to see our joint project and partnership on innovation reach the global market. We will present some interesting results on the progress within this coming year. This is a possibility for knowledge sharing and an opportunity for countries to benefit from each other’s development”, said Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General, will be one of the first advisors in the Global Tourism Innovation Network. The purpose with the global network is to contribute to cooperation in sustainable and innovative development by facilitating benchmarking and knowledge opportunities for sustainable development in the tourism sector.

I am very proud to announce the Secretary-General as an advisor in our Global Tourism Innovation Network. We are now looking forward to spearheading Down to Earth for Tourism together with UNWTO. This offers an exciting new toolbox for finding new innovative solutions to meet challenges for the tourism sector in the 21 century”, says Jan Lundin, President of the Swedish Travel and Tourism Industry Federation.

During the coming year, the three pilot projects will be conducted in Africa, in Asia and in Sweden, launched in October 2013 at the Global Tourism Innovation Summit in conjunction with the Swedish Tourism Gala in Stockholm.

Read more about the partnership and project Down to Earth for Tourism below and see:

Information about “Down to Earth for Tourism”

The cooperation agreement between RTS and UNWTO aims to develop tools and models for innovative solutions that can be used globally and help countries, regions and future tourist destinations, accommodation and tourist attractions towards sustainable development. Pilot projects have already been carried out in China and Scandinavia and are now taken another step towards new pilot projects around the world.

Down to Earth for Tourism is an interdisciplinary project that involves different disciplines as tourism, space sector, industry and universities / academy across borders in innovation processes to identify sustainable solutions to future challenges for sustainable tourism development. The project is based on a methodology developed by the Swedish aerospace design company Umbilical Design, where technology and knowledge transfer from space is used to create new innovations and products.

The project Down to Earth for Tourism is based on “The astronauts lifestyle”, that is, astronauts living conditions in space. By seeing how recycling thinking applied in space around the material, technology and limited resources such as water, this approach embraced sustainable tourism development. The methodology of the project, Down to Earth for Tourism is based on a creative innovation process where different disciplines meet and interact to produce new innovations and ideas with a focus on sustainability. Working in a collaborative process creates opportunities to address future challenges on climate change, population growth and environmental impact.

With space as a catalyst for innovation, the aim with “Down to Earth for Tourism” is to help achieve the Millennium Development Goal targets. This means the eight measurable goals that are about improving the lives of poor people and to create conditions for sustainable global development in the world.

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