Valencia and WTACH to Host First Global Culture and Heritage Tourism Summit


“This inaugural summit is the expression of a movement whose time has come” — Nigel Fell, CEO, WTACH... Mr Fell and Ms Sandra Gómez, the Vice Mayor of Valencia, are pictured below at the Visit Valencia stand at the World Travel Market in London, 7 November. Above: The Prince Felipe Science Museum, Valencia.


WTM LONDON, 7 NOVEMBER, 2022 — Visit Valencia has partnered with The World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) to host the world’s first tourism summit dedicated to the protection and preservation of culture and heritage in tourism destinations.




The summit, called GS23, will take place in Valencia, Spain, 24-25 September 2023.

The overarching aim of the event will be to raise awareness and ensure that the unique attributes, history, cultural assets and values that attract tourists to locations around the world are preserved on behalf of future generations.

“We want to show Valencia’s support for a new kind of tourism that is inclusive and cherishes the magnificent diversity of culture and heritage on our planet,” said Ms Sandra Gómez, Vice Mayor of Valencia.








The agreement to host the global summit was sealed on behalf of WTACH by its President & CEO, Nigel Fell and Ms Gómez, at the Visit Valencia stand at the World Travel Market in London, 7 November.

“This inaugural summit is the expression of a movement whose time has come,” said Mr Fell.

“Our aim is to inspire good governance and for travel and tourism to be the protector of global culture and heritage assets, particularly for local communities, who are often the creators and custodians of those assets over millennia.

“Valencia is a leading light in this field, so it was a natural fit for WTACH to work with Visit Valencia to introduce our inaugural global summit,” said Mr Fell.

Valencia has a strong track record of breaking new ground on cultural matters. It is currently European Capital of Smart Tourism 2022 and World Design Capital 2022. It has also recently been named European Green Capital 2024, due to its past and current achievements in the field of sustainable tourism, climate neutrality and green transition.

“The sensitive and wise preservation of both our past and living culture is very much a part of our ‘smart tourism' ethos,” said Ms Gómez.

“Delegates will experience a dynamic city renowned for both its modern and traditional culture,” she said.

GS23 aims to attract representatives from government ministries, tourism boards, leading private sector decision makers, tour operators, corporate sponsors, community representatives, NGOs, media and others.

The GS23 conference programme and information for delegates will be hosted on the WTACH website, WTACH.org, in the coming weeks.






About World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage

WTACH seeks to establish clear goals, objectives and strategies for the protection of cultural heritage through responsible and sustainable tourism practices. Working in collaboration with public, private and specialist academic sector organisations, WTACH determines best practice ethical principles and standards in line with the most robust global research available. WTACH was established in 2018 by Chris Flynn, formerly Director – Pacific, at the Pacific Asia Travel Association. WTACH is based in New South Wales, Australia. https://www.wtach.org. Email: [email protected]

About Visit Valencia

VISIT VALÈNCIA is a non-profit Foundation, in which the Valencia City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, Feria València and the Valencian Business Confederation participate together alongside other local tourism companies. Its objective is the strategic management and promotion of tourism in the city of Valencia, with an approach that combines public and private interest. Since its creation in 1991, the Foundation has contributed to the evolution of tourism in the city, promoting employment, tourism development and increased economic impact, factors that have had a direct impact on the well-being of Valencian society.



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