UNWTO Rebands as “UN Tourism,” Marking New Era for the Sector

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has entered a new era with a new name and brand: UN Tourism. With this new brand, the organization is reaffirming its status as the United Nations specialized agency for tourism and the global leader of tourism for development, driving social and economic change to ensure that “people and planet” are always center stage.

Interbrand, a leading global branding agency, was tasked with the project. According to UN Tourism, Interbrand successfully translated the organization’s renewed vision for tourism into a new visual identity and brand narrative. This involved renaming the organization and crafting a new brand narrative. This narrative pivots around three main messages: the UN as a global altruistic organization, the notion of connecting humans around the world, and the concept of proactivity and movement.

By moving away from acronyms, UN Tourism adopts a more approachable stance and capitalizes on its strength—the "UN"—signifying its authority. This change has been endorsed by the organization's membership, highlighting its united support for the transformation and reinvention of UN Tourism in recent years, as it has become more agile, visible and ever closer to its member states, partners and the sector as a whole. 

With 160 member states and hundreds of private sector affiliates, UN Tourism has its headquarters in Madrid, Spain, and regional offices in Nara (Japan) covering Asia & Pacific and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) for the Middle East, as well as forthcoming regional offices for the Americas (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Africa (Morocco). Its priorities center on promoting tourism for sustainable development in line with the UN's "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" and its 17 "Global Goals." UN Tourism promotes quality education, supports decent jobs in the sector, identifies talent and drives innovation and accelerates tourism climate action and sustainability with:

  • Member States — both as recipients of its services, assistance and as active stakeholders in the Organization's Program of Work.
  • Individuals — specifically travelers and local communities whose lives flourish through the empowerment of the economy through tourism.
  • Private, semi-private, and public organizations — all engaging with UN Tourism's work, including its data and insights, events and products.

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 evolution from the former globe symbols reflects the organization’s emphasis on the dynamic nature of tourism and on putting people first.

Beyond the symbol, the rebrand 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, colors 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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