Spain Wins Prestigious UNWTO Award

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San Sebastian awarded a 2019 World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) award Credit: Shutterstock

THE SPANISH CITY of San Sebastian was awarded the 2019 World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) prize for Public Policy and Governance at a ceremony attended by leaders of the global tourism sector in St Petersburg, Russian Federation.

Organised by UNWTO in partnership with the Spanish NGO ONCE, this initiative recognises destinations that are proactively working to make tourism more accessible to everyone, regardless of physical or mental ability.

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The 15th edition of the awards aimed to celebrate the very best examples of tangible and sustainable improvements in policy, processes, and governance.

For the latest round of awards, nominees from Canada, Colombia, India, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the Philippines made it to the final shortlist.

A jury committee made up of eight tourism experts from the public sector, private companies and universities announced St Petersburg San Sebastian’s “Love San Sebastian, Live Donastia” initiative as top award winner.


Alongside cities and regional authorities, NGOs and private sector enterprises are eligible to be considered for the annual awards and Fundación Once from Spain won the award for the best non-government organisation.

Announcing the awards, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “These awards for excellence and innovation in tourism celebrate our sector at its very best. I congratulate San Sebastian for showing how tourism can be effectively managed to be sustainable and an effective tool for promoting and protecting local cultural heritage.”





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