UN partners help least developed countries take steps towards more effective tourism development

PR No.: PR 11083

Eight of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have begun to assess their tourism development needs and pinpoint relevant funding sources at a workshop held by the United Nations Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD) (Geneva, Switzerland, 18-20 October).

Representatives from the Tourism, Finance and Trade Ministries of Benin, Burundi, Cambodia, Comoros, Lesotho, Maldives, Sao Tome and Principe and Uganda came together with the nine UN Agencies that make up the SCTD at International Trade Centre (ITC) Headquarters in Geneva, to learn how to better work together to maximize tourism’s development potential.  

“Tourism is one of the few economic sectors through which LDCs have managed to increase their participation in the global economy,” said UNWTO Executive Director, Márcio Favilla, opening the workshop. “The multiplier effect of tourism is also particularly effective in the LDCs, where tourism expenditure generates additional flows of revenue and consumption for other branches of the economy such as agriculture, local fisheries, handicrafts and the furniture and construction industries”.

International tourist arrivals in the 48 LDCs grew from 6 million in 2000 to over 17 million in 2010. In the same period, international tourism receipts climbed from US$ 3 billion to over US$ 10 billion.

The workshop, organized with the support of the Secretariat of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), a multi-donor programme specifically for LDCs, allowed the countries to learn more about the EIF and how to best access the mechanism to develop their tourism strategies and action plans, as well as leveraging human and financial resources.

A break-out session of bi-lateral meetings between countries and UN agencies during the workshop helped to identify a number of specific tourism-related needs of the LDCs and match them with SCTD Agency capabilities.

The workshop builds on the momentum generated at the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV), at which tourism was included as a poverty reduction tool for the first time. It is now expected that the LDCs, with the support of SCTD Agencies as well as the EIF Secretariat, will be able to prepare project proposals by the end of 2011, for local approval and subsequent submission to the EIF Board for endorsement by mid-2012.


Note to editors:

The UN Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD) builds on the UN commitment to ‘Deliver as One’ and will ensure the delivery of more effective and coordinated technical assistance in order to make tourism work for development.

Members of the SCTD: International Labour Organization (ILO), International Trade Centre (ITC), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), World Trade Organization (WTO).The coordination and Secretariat of the SCTD is with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).



Useful links:

UN comes together to promote tourism for development

UN agencies commit to make tourism work for development

UNWTO Institutional and Corporate Relations Programme



Principal Media Officer: Marcelo Risi

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UNWTO Communications Programme

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