57 per cent of international tourist arrivals in 2030 will be in emerging economies, according to UNWTO.
Photo: © UNWTO


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Tourism is an important economic sector in many emerging and developing countries. Sustainable tourism can contribute to reducing poverty and protecting the environment. Moreover, it can fos-ter mutual understanding, leading to peace and security, the UN says.

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tour-ism for Development, recalling the potential of tourism to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer be-haviour towards a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute effectively to the SDGs.

Accounting for 7 per cent of worldwide exports, one in eleven jobs and 10 per cent of the world’s GDP, the tourism sector, if well managed, can foster inclusive economic growth, social inclusive-ness and the protection of cultural and natural assets.

The International Year is to promote 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.

Sustainable tourism offers a real opportunity for emerging and developing countries.

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