The United Nations World Tourism Organization has its headquarters in Madrid, Spain. UNWTO is concerned with the collection and comparison of statistical information on international tourism and has 157 members.
The fundamental aim of the organization is the promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity and universal respect, and observance of human rights and fundamental freedom for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.
Myanmar became a member of UNWTO in 1996 and due to budget constraints; Myanmar withdrew its membership on the 9th September 1999.
Dr.Taleb Rifai, Secretary General for UNWTO came to Myanmar on the 5th to 7th May, 2012. During his visit he paid a courtesy call on with the President U Thein Sein and presents an open letter. He then met officials and as a result; Myanmar became a member of UNWTO again on 1st June, 2012. Since 2012, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has been celebrating the commemorative ceremonies of UNWTO Day on 27th September every year.