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Global tourism bodies welcome International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017

Global tourism bodies welcome International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017
February 12, 2017

The Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), which brings together the major global tourism associations and organisations, welcomes the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 as an opportunity to underline the immense socio-economic opportunities brought by the sector to all societies, as well as its power to advocate for mutual understanding, peace and sustainable development worldwide.

Speaking on behalf of GTAC, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Taleb Rifai, stated “every year, 1.2 billion people travel abroad.

“These, and the billions more who travel domestically, create a sector which contributes 10% of global GDP to the world’s economies and 1 in 11 jobs. Tourism has become a passport to prosperity, a driver of peace, and a transformative force for improving millions of lives.

United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said in his message on the occasion of the launch of the International Year (held in Madrid, Spain on 18th January) “the world can and must harness the power of tourism as we strive to carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include targets that relate to tourism: Goal 8 on promoting growth and decent work, Goal 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production, and Goal 14 on conserving marine resources. But tourism also cuts across so many different areas of life, and involves so many different economic sectors and socio-cultural currents, that it is connected to the entire Agenda. Beyond the measurable advances that tourism can make possible, it is also a bridge to better mutual understanding among people from all walks of life.

“Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (2017) is a crucial moment to make this important sector a force for good. Through 12 months of global actions, it will provide the opportunity for us all to promote our role as an engine of economic development, as a vehicle for sharing cultures, building mutual understanding and driving a more peaceful world.”

The Medellín Statement on Tourism and Air Transport for Development, adopted in 2015 at the UNWTO/ICAO High-Level Forum, called for strengthening the common path and cooperation of both sectors and fostering strategies of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.

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Members of the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC) are:

• Airports Council International (ACI)
• Cruise Lines Association International (CLIA)
• International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
• International Air Transport Association (IATA)
• Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
• World Economic Forum (WEF)
• World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
• World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

The Global Travel Association Coalition exists to promote a better understanding of Travel & Tourism’s role as a driver of economic growth and employment, and to ensure governments develop policies which contribute to the profitable, sustainable and long-term growth of the industry. Under its goal to provide a stronger consolidated ‘One Voice’, the leaders of GTAC continue to align their messaging and efforts to amplify awareness of the strengths of the Travel & Tourism sector. An Agenda for Growth and Development was launched in April, 2015 consolidating the common efforts to be followed by all.

For more information on the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 go to www.tourism4development2017.org 

Images: Diving in Phuket, Thailand (top) and Taleb Rifai (below). 

3rd February 2017 - UNESCO AND UNWTO COMBINE TO LAUNCH 2017 AS INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM 

19th January 2017 - WTTC ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR 2017 TOURISM FOR TOMORROW AWARDS

10th September 2016 - UNITED NATIONS DECLARES 2017 AS THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM FOR DEVELOPMENT


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