Press release

CaixaBank, the first European bank to form part of the World Tourism Organisation

CaixaBank offices in Barcelona

• The 23rd General Assembly of the WTO held in St. Petersburg on 11th September approved CaixaBank's entry as an Affiliate Member of the international organisation.

• Through this membership, CaixaBank reaffirms its commitment to fostering the sustainable development of tourism.

• The financial institution substantiates its support for the sector through its Hotels & Tourism line of business, the purpose of which is to boost the tourist market through a model of proximity with hoteliers companies and businesses.

CaixaBank, the benchmark financial institution in the hotel and tourism sector, has been accepted as a member of the World Tourism Organization, the United Nations body responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. This membership, which was approved on 11th September at the 23rd General Assembly of the WTO held in St. Petersburg, establishes CaixaBank as the first European bank to become an Affiliate Member of this international organisation, the leading entity in the field of tourism.

Through this membership, CaixaBank reaffirms its commitment to fostering the sustainable development of tourism and consolidates its role as a financial institution specialising in the sector through its CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism division. The bank offers specific tourist sector products and services taking into account its needs and, in turn, promotes responsible and sustainable financing as one of its primary action lines, in accordance with the concept of socially responsible banking. For CaixaBank, the entity lead by Chairman Jordi Gual and Chief Executive Officer Gonzalo Gortázar, being part of the WTO “is a step further towards consolidating its commitment to a sector that comprises an economic driver and, therefore, is key to contributing to the SDGs”.

The WTO considers the private sector to be an essential member for fostering the sustainable development of tourism and complying with 2030 Agenda. The World Tourism Organization Affiliate Members Department has highlighted "the major potential of its collaboration with CaixaBank to contributing to the creation of a tourist sector that is more ethical and responsible, proving to be a benefit for the international community". Furthermore, the organisation states that it is "very satisfied that the bank has decided to join more than 500 Affiliate Members and collaborate on reaching common goals".


Specialised products for the tourism sector

CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism provides the hotel market with a differential product and service that offer help to companies in terms of optimising the profitability of their businesses and simplifying their daily activities. The addition of new specific products and services for the hotel market supplements the specialisation in the industry, taking into account the needs of the different subsectors: hotels, tourist accommodation and campsites.

In addition, CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism is particularly committed to projects that contribute to environmental sustainability and social inclusion, such as those that contribute improvements in energy efficiency, water management and those that foster the integration into the workplace of people at risk of exclusion. In this context, CaixaBank stands out for its responsible actions and this is acknowledged by the main international organisations. The global Dow Jones Sustainability Index ranks it among the best banks in the world in terms of corporate responsibility.  

Moreover, the bank holds the CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism award on an annual basis, which recognises the innovation and sustainability of tourist companies. This award is a further example of CaixaBank's commitment to the tourism market and, specifically, to sustainable and innovative projects in the sector in Spain. The term for submitting candidacies for the second annual edition of these awards is currently open, and will close on 30 November.

CaixaBank Hotel & Tourism has signed more than 40 agreements with hotel federations and associations, including the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT); and it organises regular meetings with benchmark employers in the industry nationwide.

During the first six months of the year, CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism granted a total of over 1 billion euros in credit to the Spanish hotel sector. This figure represents 8% growth compared to the same period of the previous year – when 942 million euros of credit had been granted – and involves a total of 1,908 operations carried out throughout Spain, up 18% on the first half of 2018.


About the WTO

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) is the United Nations body responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organisation in field of tourism, the WTO advocates tourism that contributes to economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability, and it offers leadership and support to the sector to extend its knowledge and tourist policies throughout the world.

The WTO upholds the application of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism to maximise the socioeconomic contribution of the sector, while simultaneously minimising its possible detrimental impacts, and it has committed to promoting tourism as an instrument to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which aim to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development all around the world.

The organisation also generates market knowledge, fosters competitive tourism and sustainable policies and instruments, teaching and training tourism and it works to make tourism an efficient tool for development, through technical support projects in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Its members include 158 countries, 6 associate members and more than 500 Affiliate Members that represent the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourist authorities.