Tourism industry commits to UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals

The SDGs are aimed at promoting sustainable development and alleviating povery
The SDGs are aimed at promoting sustainable development and alleviating poverty

The UN World Tourism Organization has said it welcomes the adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are aimed at alleviating global poverty and protecting the environment.

The SDGs are a 17-point plan that aims to drive sustainable development and promote jobs, especially among disadvantaged communities. They were approved by the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly on 25 September and are targeted at being achieved by 2030.

The tourism industry will play a key role in several of the 17 SDGs, including Goal 8, which urges stakeholders to “devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.”

Goal 12 meanwhile, commits to “develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism.”

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

As well as social benefits, the SDGs are targeted at driving environmental awareness and conservation. Goal 14 aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” This includes marine tourism.

“Issues such as climate change, effective resource management, poverty reduction and inclusive growth need to be at the centre of tourism development,” said UNWTO secretary-general, Taleb Rifai. “Now that the goals have been approved, it is time to step up our action, time to advance policies and business strategies that monitor and minimise the negative effects of tourism development and maximise its positive impacts, namely through the distribution of its benefits among host communities.”

Given its global reach, the tourism industry will play a significant role in the implementation of the UN’s SDGs. The UN states that the goals will apply to “all countries and require all stakeholders to act in collaborative partnerships”.

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