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UNESCO and UNWTO combine to launch 2017 as International Year of Sustainable Tourism
United Nations cultural agency UNESCO is supporting 2017 as the year of sustainable tourism, taking centre stage at a recent international event designed to highlight the role of tourism in sustainable development.
Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, was on-hand for the launch, organised by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid, Spain.
During the launch, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai highlighted the potential for international tourism to create positive change, prosperity and wellbeing for all, stating that “as our sector continues to grow, so does its responsibility to propel us into a future of sustainability, equity, inclusion and peace.”
UNESCO has identified tourism as an area of major growth in many developing countries, with Bandarin stating “cultural and natural heritage sites, intangible cultural heritage, performing arts and museums are among the many interests that engage tourists and thereby generate revenues, employment, investments and social benefits.
“Tourism represents around 30% of service exports, and directly and indirectly contributes to around 10% of global GDP.”
UNESCO has already shown its commitment to the cause, with its existing World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Program providing an international framework for cooperation and engagement on shared and sustainable outcomes related to tourism.
For the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, UNESCO and UNWTO will work together to draw wider attention to the potential of tourism to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as address the challenges associated with it.
Through 2017 a number of joint initiatives will take place, including the World Conference on Tourism and Culture: Fostering Sustainable Development, in Muscat, Oman in December 2017.
Images: Diving with Manta Rays at Western Australia's Ningaloo Reef (top) and Bahla Fort, Oman (below).
1st September 2016 - WTTC CHALLENGES TOURISM BUSINESSES TO SHOW HOW SUSTAINABLE THEY ARE
27th June 2016 - CLIMATE CHANGE A MASSIVE THREAT TO GLOBAL HERITAGE AND TOURISM
14th June 2016 - EARTHCHECK AND GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY PARTNER ON SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
8th April 2016 - WTTC ANNOUNCES 2016 TOURISM FOR TOMORROW AWARDS WINNERS
23rd March 2016 - GLOBAL TOURISM INDUSTRY ADDED 7.2 MILLION NEW JOBS IN 2015
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