ISTO General Assembly 2017 in Belgium : an overall success

The publication "Tourism in Actions", the presentation of the ISTO Annual Activity Report with the membership of 26 new organisations, the approval of the statutory changes, the adoption of the work program for 2018, the presence of the Walloon Minister responsible for tourism and the annual meeting of the ISTO Europe section and workshops are some of the highlights of the ISTO General Assembly which was held in La Roche-en-Ardenne in the Walloon Region (Belgium) on 18-19 October.

In the heart of the Belgian Ardennes, in the centre of the Floreal Group in La Roche-en-Ardenne, the members of the ISTO Board of Directors had the pleasure of welcoming the Walloon Minister in charge of Tourism, René Collin, who highlighted the importance of the support of public authorities to the programs in favour of a Tourism for all in Wallonia and stressed that there is no "good" tourism if it is unequal.

These remarks are similar to those of the ISTO President, Jean Marc Mignon who, in his speech at the opening of the Assembly, reaffirmed that the objective of the ISTO is that it becomes, more than before, an international organisation with social, responsible and solidarity dimensions, with the double objective of making tourism and holidays accessible to a greater number of citizens, but also to support and promote a concept of tourism that respects people, regions and communities.

The publication Tourism in Actions - 20 Examples of Social Policies and Programmes around the World presented at this occasion, paints an eloquent picture of how, today, in 2017, the political will of certain governments or local authorities, as well as the dynamism of civil society, through social stakeholders or associations, can be used to widen access to tourism.

The Activity Report presented to the members during the Assembly, illustrates the diversity of the global actions carried out by the ISTO but also by its permanent commissions (Alliance for Training and Research, Trade Union Task Force and Responsible and sustainable Tourism), its working groups (Accessible Tourism and Gender Equality) and its regional sections (Americas, Europe and Africa). Over the past year, 26 organisations have joined ISTO, which now has 156 member organisations in 37 countries.

In order to take into account the new orientation of the ISTO with its opening to the operators of a responsible and fair tourism, statutory changes including a new definition of the concept of "social tourism" were adopted by the General Assembly.

The work program for the next 12 months was also presented at the GA and among the many actions proposed, there is a draft of a Good Practice Charter for operators active in our sector.

The ISTO Europe section also held its annual meeting with interesting interventions on the PROFIT project on innovation in tourism, on youth tourism with the `Backpacker Europe' experience and on the whole issue of the rediscovery of time (free time, voluntary commitment, time for holidays).

A workshop on sustainable and responsible tourism to mark the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and a workshop on gender equality on the policies and programs of ISTO members in this area were also on the program of the participants. [download the presentations]

It is finally at the invitation of the French Government and the authorities of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Region, that the members and partners will meet in 1 year for the next ISTO World Congress to be held in Lyon in France from 16-19 October 2018.

ISTO General Assembly 2017
  • Asamblea general