The Tourism Goals for Acting Sustainable Development Agenda

The Global Goals always has vision for transforming our world towards sustainable development of three dimensions: the economic, social and environmental. From the actions of these three dimensions, we have some ideas to achieve this goal with tourism development.

Why tourism?

Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening ‎diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. ‎Modern tourism is closely linked to development and encompasses growing number ‎of new destinations. These dynamics have turned tourism into a key driver for socio-‎economic progress.‎

Today, the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, ‎food products or automobiles. Tourism has become one of the major players in ‎international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income ‎sources for many developing countries. This growth goes hand in hand with an ‎increasing diversification and competition among destinations.‎

This global spread of tourism in industrialized and developed states has produced ‎economic and employment benefits in many related sectors, from construction to ‎agriculture or telecommunications.‎

The contribution of tourism to economic well-being depends on the quality and the ‎revenues of the tourism offer. UNWTO (United Nation of World Tourism Organization) assists destinations in their sustainable ‎positioning in ever more complex national and international markets. As the UN agency ‎dedicated to tourism, UNWTO points out that particularly developing countries stand to ‎benefit from sustainable tourism and acts to help make this a reality.‎

Regarding to this vision, we are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.

Based on this universal, integrated and transformative vision, UNWTO is placing its efforts and tireless work in contributing with its technical assistance and capacity-building to the achievement of these global goals. UNWTO is working with governments, public and private partners, development banks, international and regional finance institutions, the UN agencies and international organizations to help achieve the SDGs, placing an emphasis on Goals 8, 12 and 14, in which tourism is featured.

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Tourism is one of the driving forces of global economic growth, and currently accounts for 1 in 11 jobs worldwide. By giving access to decent work opportunities in the tourism sector, society- particularly youth and women- can benefit from enhanced skills and professional development. The sector’s contribution to job creation is recognized in target 8.9 “By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products”.  

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable Consumption and Production patterns A tourism sector that adopts sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices can play a significant role in accelerating the global shift towards sustainability. To do so, as set in Target 12.b of Goal 12, it is imperative to “Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism which creates jobs, promotes local culture and products”. The Sustainable Tourism Program (STP) of the 10-Year Framework of Programs on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP) aims at developing such SCP practices, including resource efficient initiatives that result in enhanced economic, social and environmental outcomes

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Coastal and maritime tourism, tourism’s biggest segments, particularly for Small Island Developing States’ (SIDS), rely on healthy marine ecosystems. Tourism development must be a part of integrated Coastal Zone Management in order to help conserve and preserve fragile ecosystems and serve as a vehicle to promote the blue economy, in line with target 14.7: “by 2030 increase the economic benefits of SIDS and LCDs from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism”. 

“Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, are addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”. This definition is the real vision and achievement for sustainable development, and we believe that it will bring the well-being impact for our humanity and planet.

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