World enters “Year of Sustainable Tourism”

The UN initiative is aimed at making the tourism industry more inclusive
The UN initiative is aimed at making the tourism industry more inclusive

2017 has been designated the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development” by the United Nations.

First unveiled by the UN General Assembly, the initiative aims to drive a change in tourism business practices and tourist behaviour, with the effort of creating a more inclusive and sustainable industry. This forms part of the UN’s long-term Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were unveiled last year.

“This is a unique opportunity to build a more responsible and committed tourism sector that can capitalise [on] its immense potential in terms of economic prosperity, social inclusion, peace and understanding, cultural and environmental preservation,” said UNWTO secretary-general, Taleb Rifai.

The International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development will focus on five key areas: promoting sustainable economic growth; social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction; resource efficiency and environmental protection; promoting cultural values, diversity and heritage; and improving mutual understanding, peace and security.

A presentation of the initiative will take place in Madrid on 18 January 2017 during the FITUR travel trade show, and a new website has been created for the year, at tourism4development2017.org.

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