Cartagena de Indias: Host of the UN Tourism Executive Council in 2024

In October 2024, Cartagena de Indias will host the 122nd session of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organisation (UN Tourism). This decision marks an important milestone for the city and the country, underlining their commitment to becoming world leaders in sustainable and inclusive tourism.


A Strategically Important Choice

Cartagena de Indias, known for its rich cultural heritage, its historic centre classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the heavenly beaches of the Rosario and Barú islands, was chosen as the venue for this important meeting thanks to a number of key factors:

  • Cultural and Historical Heritage: The city is a living example of Colombia’s historical and cultural wealth, making it an ideal destination for discussions on promoting sustainable tourism.
  • Modern infrastructure: Cartagena has demonstrated its ability to host major international events thanks to its modern infrastructure and world-class facilities.
  • Commitment to Sustainability: The city is committed to several sustainable tourism initiatives, which resonate perfectly with the UN Tourism goals.


Event Details

The event will take place from 16 to 18 October 2024 and will bring together delegates from over 35 UN Tourism member countries. These representatives will discuss global strategies for tourism development, focusing on sustainability, inclusiveness and innovation.

The mayor of Cartagena, Dumek Turbay Paz, expressed his satisfaction at the announcement via his X account: ‘I would like to announce that we have won the bid to host the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organisation (@UNWTO) in 2024 for #Cartagena. This prestigious event positions the city as a global epicentre for tourism and sustainable development.”



The Importance of Major Events

The decision to hold this session in Cartagena was taken following 21 votes in favour of the city – ahead of the Bahamas – reflecting broad international confidence in its hosting and organisational capabilities. This recognition is all the more significant as it comes against a backdrop of a resumption of major events following the pandemic, marking Cartagena’s return as a key destination for international meetings.



Expected impact

Hosting this event will have several positive impacts for Cartagena and Colombia:

  • International Visibility: The event will put Cartagena in the global spotlight, attracting the attention of international media and players in the tourism sector.
  • Economic Development: The increased influx of visitors and participants to the event will stimulate the local economy, creating opportunities for local businesses.
  • Strengthening Sustainability Initiatives: The city will have the opportunity to showcase its sustainability initiatives and learn from global best practice.



Preparations underway

To host this prestigious event, the city has announced the upcoming implementation of improvements to certain tourism infrastructures, international promotion campaigns, as well as the implementation of measures to guarantee the best possible experience for participants.



The selection of Cartagena de Indias to host the UN Tourism Executive Council in 2024 is a significant recognition of its potential and commitment to sustainable tourism. This event represents a unique opportunity for the city to demonstrate its leadership in the tourism sector and strengthen its position on the international stage. By welcoming delegates from all over the world, Cartagena is putting itself in the global spotlight, ready to showcase its exceptional hosting capabilities and dedication to sustainability. The preparations underway promise to make this event a resounding success, benefiting both the city and its people.




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