World Tourism Organization rebrands as UN Tourism, targets massive transformation

Img Wa
Img Wa

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has unveiled its new name, UN Tourism, as it aims to reaffirm its status as the global leader of tourism for development, driving social and economic change.

The renaming, which was done in collaboration with Interbrand, the leading global branding agency, was meticulously crafted to seamlessly align with UN Tourism’s central mission and priorities.

This narrative pivots around three main messages: the UN as a global altruistic organisation, the notion of connecting humans around the world, and the concept of proactivity and movement.

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of UN Tourism, said: “As society progresses into the future, the tourism sector, much like many other sectors, needs to transform to serve as a catalyst for prosperity on a universal scale.

“Enhancing the well-being of individuals, safeguarding the natural environment, stimulating economic advancement, and fostering international harmony are key goals that are the fundamental essence of UN Tourism. The organization takes on the role of driving a sustainable force that is now central to many economies.”

Borja Borrero, Executive Director at Interbrand, said: “Transitioning from UNWTO to UN Tourism marks a significant new phase for the organization. The revised nomenclature offers several advantages, including simplicity, enhanced comprehension, improved legibility, and memorability.

“It also serves to clarify the agency’s sphere of influence within the global tourism industry. The new elements of the brand are the foundations of a distinct and proprietary image—one that is direct, affordable, democratic, and relevant for diverse audiences regardless of provenance.”

Motives of UN Tourism

By moving away from acronyms, UN Tourism adopts a more approachable stance and capitalizes on its most appealing attributes: the “UN”, signifying authority, and “tourism”, a simple and relatable concept for all.

This change highlights the profound transformation and reinvention of UN Tourism in recent years, as it has become more agile and accountable. In this new era of global tourism, the UN agency, tasked with advancing tourism for sustainable development, will focus on encompassing education, consultancy and networking for its 160 Member States and hundreds of private sector affiliates.

The new brand expression is not only limited to words and messages but also expands into a reinvented visual discourse. UN Tourism has a new design language starting from its symbol. “Bringing the world closer” is the new tagline that inspires the concept of a Pangea shaping a human figure in action.

This drastic evolution from the former aseptic globe symbol signals the profound humanistic change within the organization.

Beyond the symbol, the rebrand also includes a revamp of the entire visual system, which is now based on a grid of geographical coordinates meant to help people navigate the brand’s touchpoints, both offline and online, such as events, website, reports, social media channels and campaigns.

This system unlocks a rich universe of elements including imagery, fonts, colours, and pictograms all designed to personalize social media campaigns, events, posts, and videos.

The new brand will be gradually implemented across all UN Tourism touchpoints over the next few months, beginning with digital channels such as the website, social media accounts and newsletters, followed by physical spaces such as offices and events, and elements such as reports and stationary.

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