Sustainable Tourism Law

The UNWTO Draft Convention on the Protection of Tourists and on the Rights and Obligations of Tourism Service Providers Francesco Morandi Editor in Chief of Rivista Italiana di Diritto del Turismo Università dagli Studi di Sassari I. BACKGROUND During the 22nd biannual sessions in 2017 1 , the World Tourism Organization General Assembly appointed through Resolution A/RES/686(XXII) 2 the Secretary-General to supervise the drafting of the “Convention on the Protection of Tourists and on the Rights and Obligations of Tourism Service Providers”. Likewise, to create in a short time frame the draft text to be presented to United Nations Member States, the Secretary-General has also been given the responsibility to organize a conference on the Draft Convention, to be held before the next General Assembly leading to the Convention’s negotiation and adoption 3 . Thus, the draft International Convention can be seen as an interesting attempt to support tourist contract regulation by governing the rights and obligations of tourists and tourism service providers. At the same time, the effort made by the Agency to introduce new rules to regulate international tourism leads to the development of a series of Recommended Practices and Standards, aiming at introducing specific obligations, involving 1 The 22nd session of the UNWTO General Assembly was held in Chengdu, China, from 11 to 16 September 2017; all official documents are public and available online at twenty-second-session-0. 2 According to Resolution A/RES/686(XXII), the General Assembly, after having examined the report of the General Secretary, that resumes the recent developed activities, and the last draft text of the Convention, “takes note of the significant progress made by the Working Group in the elaboration of the draft Convention and thanks all the members of the Working Group for their support to this initiative; thanks Member States that have participated in the Public Consultation, Regional Commissions and during the last Executive Council sessions providing comments to the Secretariat on the content of the draft Convention; requests the Secretary-General to continue with the drafting of the Convention and encourages the Working Group to finalize a draft text with the Secretariat that could be submitted to all Member States”. 3 Resolution A/RES/686(XXII) “grants a mandate to the Secretary-General to convene an International Treaty Conference before the next General Assembly for the negotiation and adoption of the Convention”. This approach was also endorsed by the Executive Council by Decision EC/DEC/7(CV), in its 105th session which took place in Madrid from 10 to 12 May 2017.