World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) gives World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED) mandate to develop the first system for measuring the excellence of tourist destinations

    MONTREAL, June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - At a UNWTO Executive Council meeting
held recently in Hammamet, Tunesia, council members gave the CED,
headquartered in Montreal, the mandate to develop the first system for
measuring the excellence (SME) of tourist destinations. Among the participants
of the meeting were the Honourable Charles Lapointe-Chairperson of the Board
of Directors of the Canadian Tourism Commission, Representative of Canada to
the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and President
and CEO of Tourisme Montréal; and André Vallerand-President of the World
Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED) and President of the UNWTO
Destinations Council. The new service aims to encourage destinations to make
themselves known as destinations of excellence by means of a measuring system
that applies reliable and expert-validated criteria.
    "This is a first initiative to promote a better governance of tourist
destinations and to strengthen their brand image with target markets. Only
destinations interested in participating will be subjected to the evaluation
that will be submitted to a pluralist and international validating body" said
Charles Lapointe.
    To begin with, the CED will collect information already existing on the
topic and develop a set of criteria. These guidelines will be continually
updated in order to take account of new forms of tourism, changing trends in
sustainable tourism, and the growing level of expertise of the CED. The
identification of the quality criteria for the SME will also be based on a
client-oriented approach.
    The measuring system for destinations will be progressive and nuanced.
For example, criteria that are not comparable, such as quality of transport
with level of safety or promotion policies, will not be evaluated against each
    André Vallerand was glad to see that UNWTO supported the initiative that
comprised the top priority of the CED 2007-2010 action plan. "The CED sees
itself as a tool that can connect industry stakeholders from the public,
private, operational, or academic sectors, and that gathers knowledge to build
a global resource centre so that the success factors of tourist destinations
can be determined. In this way, the CED will offer its expertise to the member
states, or to destinations that wish to become members, and encourage
encounters between public and private decision-makers to continually raise the
level of excellence and to improve the competitiveness of destinations.
Trainings and seminars will also be offered."

    About the World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED)

    The CED is a non-profit organization dedicated to the research and
creation of tools to support the development of sustainable tourism for
destinations around the world. In performing its mission, the CED executes and
further develops the tasks of the Destinations Council and other departments
of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). It does so by adding value and
expertise to the policies and innovative practices concerning tourist
destination management.

For further information:

For further information: André Vallerand, President; Media: Véronique
Arsenault, Morin Relations Publiques, (514) 289-8688, ext. 227, Toll free:
1-877-289-7007,; Source: World Centre of Excellence for
Destinations (CED)

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