2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
The United Nations 70th General Assembly designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
Throughout the year, UNWTO and the wider United Nations system worked to raise awareness of the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public. At the same time, UNWTO took the lead to mobilize all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change.
The landmark year was celebrated within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It highlighted the importance of government policies, business practices and consumer behavior for building a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute to the SDGs.
The #IY2017 Promoted Tourism’s Role in the Following Five Key Areas:
- Inclusive and sustainable economic growth
- Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction
- Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change
- Cultural values, diversity and heritage
- Mutual understanding, peace and security.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism, was mandated to facilitate the organization and implementation of the International Year, in collaboration with governments, relevant organizations of the United Nations system, international and regional organizations and other relevant stakeholders.
Inclusive and sustainable economic growth
- 4% or more annual increase in international tourist arrivals since 2009
- 7% of total world exports and 30% of world services exports
- US$ 1.5 trillion in exports from international tourism in 2015
- 10% of world GDP
Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction
- One in every eleven jobs globally
- Largest export category in many developing countries
- 57% of international tourist arrivals in 2030 will be in emerging economies
- Almost twice as many women employers as other sectors
Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change
- Committed to reducing its 5% of world CO2 emissions
- Raises financing for conservation of heritage, wildlife and the environment
- Can be a vehicle for protecting and restoring biodiversity
- Must sustainably manage an expected 1.8 billion international tourists in 2030
Cultural values, diversity and heritage
- Revives traditional activities and customs
- Empowers communities and nurtures pride within them
- Promotes cultural diversity
- Raises awareness of the value of heritage
Mutual understanding, peace and security
- Breaks down barriers and builds bridges between visitors and hosts
- Provides opportunities for cross-cultural encounters that can build peace
- A resilient sector that recovers quickly from security threats
- A tool for soft diplomacy