The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the leading international governmental organization for travel and tourism. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and is a practical source of travel related statistics. With its headquarters in Madrid, the UNWTO maintains an international staff of 90 tourism specialists. The UNWTO is an inter-governmental organization charged by the United Nations with a central and decisive role in promoting the development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
Through tourism and sustainable development, the UNWTO aims to stimulate economic growth and job creation, provide incentives for protecting the environment and cultural heritage, and promote peace, prosperity and respect for human rights. The United Nations World Tourism Organization maintains government statistics and research on both the national and international levels.
Full Membership in the UNWTO is open to all sovereign States while Associate Membership is open to all territories not responsible for their external relations. Affiliate membership comprises a wide range of organizations and companies working either directly in travel and tourism or in related sectors including: airlines and other transport companies; hotels and restaurants; tour operators; retail travel agents; banking institutions; and publishing groups.
The UNWTO�s membership includes 139 countries, seven territories, and some 350 Affiliate Members representing regional and local promotion boards, tourism trade associations, educational institutions and private sector companies, including airlines, hotel groups and tour operators. The UNWTO website maintains an extensive collection of electronic publications.