The Affiliate Members Programme



“The United Nations and business need each other. We need your innovation, your initiative, your technological prowess. But business also needs the United Nations. In a very real sense, the work of the United Nations can be viewed as seeking to create the ideal enabling environment within which business can thrive”.

                                                                               Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Since its creation in 1945, the United Nations´ (UN) relationship with the private sector has progressively expanded, until being recognized today as an essential element for the achievement of United Nations´ goals and in particular of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Though the private and public sectors often have differing motivations and interests, they also share many common objectives which, in today´s globalized world, can be more effectively tackled through joint collaboration and the establishment of partnerships.

Like other United Nations agencies, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the specialized United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of tourism, has long considered the private sector to be an integral partner in fulfilling its general mandate of promoting sustainable development in tourism. Today, this is particularly relevant in the light of the recent adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

The UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme serves as the major gateway for alliances and collaboration between the private and public sectors in tourism. Bringing together over 500 companies, educational & research institutions, destinations and NGOs, this interactive platform provides a space for members to engage in dialogues, share information and take further action. Its principal mission is to foster synergies among Affiliate Members and Members State and promote the exchange of knowledge and expertise. Most importantly, the Affiliate Members Programme works towards aligning private sector strategies with the UN Goals and offer to its Affiliate Members the opportunity to engage in sustainable tourism development.

Partnership needs to take a variety of approaches to correctly tackle the individual necessities of every Affiliate Member and enhance their unique value. Mindful of this, the Affiliate Members Programme has developped a variety of tools and structured its basic framework according to the four following fundamental goals:

1.       Exchange of expertise:

To address the goal of exchange of expertise, UNWTO creates Networks and Working Groups where members from different backgrounds can meet around a common topic of interest to discuss challenges, share experiences and build common solutions to advance the development of tourism. For more information on the networks, please click here.

2.       Knowledge generation

UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme has developed a prototype methodology which serves as a framework where stakeholder from the public and private sectors can collaborate on the development of innovative tourism products to address existing challenges in tourism and improve a destination´s competitiveness. Furthermore, UNWTO publishes Global Reports in which Affiliate Members and Member States  actively participate to provide wide-ranging and current data and trends on emerging tourism segments. 

3.       Knowledge dissemination

The range of UNWTO conferences and seminars, held throughout the year, bring together UNWTO Members, experts and opinion leaders to present their areas of expertise aand advance knowledge in tourism. All Affiliate Members are encouraged to actively participate to ensure representative, wide-ranging and thought-provoking content. The conclusions of these events are available online. For more information on past events, please click here. 

4.       Talent development

Capacity building and education are crucial components of the Affiliate Members Programme. Initiatives include training, internship and scholarship programmes, as well as the development of knowledge management platforms and networks. A good example is the Talent Development Platform, a virtual platform in which UNWTO Members can interact by showcasing internship and scholarship opportunities as well as research and funding projects. 

For more information on the Affiliate Members Programme, please visit the following pages:


Donwload the UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme Action Plans

For more information on the objectives, main lines of action and initiatives of the UNWTO Affiliate Members Programme, please download the 2017 and 2018 UNWTO Affiliate Members Action Plans available below (In English only). 












    Download the 2017 Action Plan                          Download the 2018 Action Plan