World Tourism Day 2023 | Tourism and green investments

Official Messages

Secretary-General, UNWTO

Dear Friends,

It is a true pleasure to greet you on this World Tourism Day.

This is a chance to reflect on the importance of our sector.

Tourism is a pillar of our economies. It plays a central role in our societies and in our individual lives.

And it offers solutions to some of our biggest challenges – including the climate emergency and the urgent need to shift to more sustainable economies.

The power of tourism is enormous. But it is not a force that can be taken for granted.

Instead, it must be supported, above all with investment.

This World Tourism Day we recognize the theme of Tourism and Green Investments.

The theme could not be more timely.

2023 was the hottest year on record. And extreme weather events like heat waves could become the new normal.   

Tourism needs to adapt. For this, we need to rethink how our sector is financed.

We need to make it easier for investors of all kinds to support tourism projects with the potential to make a difference.

Looking further ahead, we need investments that can empower tourism to build a better and fairer future for all.

Once again, I wish you all a peaceful and inspiring World Tourism Day.

Zurab Pololikashvili

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Official Message by the Secretary-General, UN

Tourism is a powerful force for progress and mutual understanding. But in order to deliver its full benefits, this force must be protected and nurtured.  

Today, the climate emergency is threatening many travel destinations and the very survival of communities and economies that depend on tourism. And many developing countries that are severely affected by a changing climate are also facing a growing investment deficit and a cost-of-living crisis.

On this World Tourism Day, we recognize the vital need for green investments to build a tourism sector that delivers for people and planet.

Governments and businesses must invest in sustainable and resilient tourism practices. Private actors must adopt zero-emission pathways, lower their energy consumption and leverage renewable forms of energy. And everyone must protect the biodiversity and ecological balance of all destinations.

Targeted investments can deliver jobs and support local businesses and industries while mitigating the environmental impacts of tourism, empowering communities, promoting their cultures, and contributing to essential social protection systems.   

So let us all do more to harness the full potential of sustainable tourism. Because investing in sustainable tourism is investing in a better future for all.  

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