The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) now has a new name and brand: UN Tourism. With this new brand, the Organization reaffirms its status as the United Nations specialised agency for tourism and the global leader of tourism for development, driving social and economic change to ensure that “people and planet” are always centre stage, stated UN Tourism in its recent official statement.
To achieve this goal, UN Tourism engaged the services of Interbrand, the leading global branding agency. Interbrand successfully translated the Organisation’s renewed vision for tourism into a new visual identity and brand narrative.
This involved renaming the Organisation, transitioning from UNWTO to UN Tourism. At the same time, a new brand narrative was crafted, one that seamlessly aligns 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.
By moving away from acronyms, UN Tourism adopts a more approachable stance and capitalises on its strengths: the “UN”, signifying authority, and tourism, a simple and relatable concept for all. This change has been endorsed by the Organization’s membership, highlighting its united support for the profound 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, 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 centre on promoting tourism for sustainable development in line with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Global Goals.
“As society progresses, the tourism sector, much like many other sectors, needs to transform to serve as a catalyst for prosperity at 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 organisation takes on the role of driving a sustainable force that is now central to many economies,” said Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of UN Tourism. Transitioning from UNWTO to UN Tourism marks a significant new phase for the organisation, according to Borja Borrero, Executive Director at Interbrand. “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, relatable, and relevant for diverse audiences,” stated Borrero.
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 globe symbols reflects the Organization’s emphasis on the dynamic nature of tourism and on putting people first.
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 personalise 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.