Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between UNWTO and IFTTA

Cooperation between UNWTO and IFTTA in the Promotion of Travel  and Tourism Law Knowledge, in regard to LEXTOUR, to an Interactive Forum on Tourism Legislation, to a Glossary of Tourism Legal Terms and in Legal Mechanisms for Sustainable Tourism Development

At the 18th Congress of IFTTA held in Malta , 7-10 September, 2006, it was agreed to further cooperation between the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates (IFTTA) on the following aspects:

1. The continued development and interconnection between the UNWTO LEXTOUR database and the IFTTA website and the support of the proposed UNWTO interactive discussion forum on topical issues related to tourism legislation by the provision of  IFTTA facilitators. The guiding principles for the modus operandi of the interactive discussion forum on tourism legislation are annexed to this document.

2. The establishment and maintenance of a joint multi-lingual glossary of legal terms applicable to travel and tourism, which shall be integrated as appropriate within the UNWTO online multi-lingual glossary, the TOURISTERM, and the IFTTA Legal Taxonomy of Travel and Tourism Terms.

3. Promotion of Travel and Tourism Law knowledge, education, and training.

4. In view of the important contribution of tourism to sustainable development and poverty alleviation, the fostering of support for travel and tourism lawyers and professionals from developing countries to participate in travel and tourism law congresses and symposia.

This letter, when signed on behalf of UNWTO and IFTTA, is a record of mutual understanding and intentions to cooperate in the above issues, to remain in force until it is formally cancelled by either part giving at least one month’s written notice to the other.



As hereby signed by:



Francesco  FRANGIALLI                                          Dov  KOLANI

Secretary General, UNWTO                                      IFTTA President

Madrid , 30 August 2007                                           Jerusalem , 30 August 2007


The Secretariat of the World Tourism Organization(UNWTO)  and the Board  of the International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates (IFTTA) are agreed on the following guiding principles for the modus operandi of the interactive Discussion Forum on Tourism Legislation (hereafter Forum).

Access to the Forum

1. Access to the Forum, for the purposes of reading messages as well as participating in the discussions, should be restricted to authorized and registered Members of UNWTO and IFTTA.

2. Intellectual property rights with respect  to the Forum should be retained for all intents and purposes by UNWTO and IFTTA. Forum members should undertake not to divulge their Forum access codes to third parties or to publicly disclose Forum content.

Membership parameters

3. Initially, registration with the Forum should be authorized for one individual(if possible, the legal adviser or the equivalent  official) from each National Tourism Administration(NTA) in  the case  of UNWTO’s Member States , and for IFTTA , each of its individual Members.

4. To broaden the Forum’s audience and activity, NTAs-through their representatives, should be able to apply for registration of more than one individual (up to five per NTA).

Registration  procedure 

5. UNWTO and IFTTA should draw up and apply a procedure for the transmission and receipt of requests, verification, admission criteria, and user registration, clearly specifying the functions assigned to each of the parties.

Type of users

6. All Forum users-with the exception of the Administrator and the Moderator(s)- should have the same rights and authorizations.

User  information profiles

7. User profiles should be defined based on a careful analysis of the users’ communication and privacy needs and preferences.

Communication between users

8. In principle, all communications between Forum users should be public. The exchange of private messages and communications outside of the Forum should therefore be limited or avoided.

Forum regulations

9. UNWTO and IFTTA should draw up and publish basic regulations to govern the Forum’s operations, assigning responsibility for enforcing them to the Forum Moderator(s).

Language of the Forum   

10.  The working language for the Forum should be English. All communications with Forum members, notices, tips, user guides, and messages from the Moderator(s)  and the Administrator should be drafted in English. Discussions should also take place in English.

11. Only on an exceptional basis, and as circumstances require(e.g. textual citations from, comments on, or interpretations of, non-English legal texts),should members be permitted to use other languages. Those who do should assume full responsibility,  with the understanding that the use of other languages will tend to limit and undermine comprehension and participation for the Forum’s other members.

Content: Priority issue areas for the Forum

12. UNWTO, in coordination with IFTTA ,should draw up a preliminary list of priority issue areas for discussion in the Forum, updating the list as the nature of discussion and user interventions evolves over time.
13. UNWTO, in coordination  with IFTTA ,should regularly monitor the range of issues addressed in the Forum, intervene as necessary to keep the Forum on-topic, and elicit discussion on issue areas considered of highest priority.

Organization of the content 

14. Planning for the Forum should provide for the creation and organization  of “ secondary” content under headings or in folders set up for that purpose, including in particular” About this Forum”, “FAQ”, and “ User Guides and Tips”.

15. The main functions of the Forum Administrator and Moderator(s) should include keeping the content coherently organized. The Forum could begin operating with a very simple thematic structure, which could then be made more elaborate as the discussions and messages accumulate.

Type of moderation 

16. The Forum should be moderated, but without making messages subject to prior clearance. UNTWO and IFTTA should appoint one or more Moderators, to serve also as facilitator(s) for the discussions.
17. According to the present letter on Cooperation between UNWTO and IFTTA, the role of Moderator is to be assumed by a Member of IFTTA. The organization should have alternate Moderators to step in when the principal Moderator is not available.

18. An official from UNWTO should be  assigned responsibility for monitoring and evaluating the Forum on a regular basis, to verify that the system is functioning properly, to track the level of activity and participation, as well as progress toward stated objectives, and to facilitate interaction and generate synergies between this and other UNWTO  activities, and in particular, the LEXTOUR Database, the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, the Technical Cooperation, etc.

 19. Forum users should be given the means to follow the historical and logical sequencing of a given discussion by displaying messages in a threaded or nested structure.

Message formats

20. The Forum management system selected should be as friendly as possible and should allow to attach document files in commonly used formats.

Discussion archives

21. Organized and complete archives of Forum discussions should be maintained online.

Guides, tips, and other Forum documentation

22. The Forum should make the guide and user tips provided with the Forum management software available to users online, adapting or supplementing these material as necessary.

Logistical and technical support for the Forum

23. The Forum should be hosted by the UNWTO Web server; UNWTO should also be responsible for the installation and configuration of the Forum management software; the creation of the Forum; the updating of the software; and  the introduction of improvements.