The official release of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development took place at the International Tourism Fair (FITUR) held in Madrid from January 18 to 22, 2017. The main objective for the year was to promote the tourism sector’s contribution to building a better world.
The UN General Assembly declared that they will maintain the position of highlighting the tourism potential to continue the achievement on the Sustainable Development Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
There is a marked emphasis on changing policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism that can effectively contribute to the achievement of the SDG’s. A timely opportunity to analyze how tourism is affected by climate change, to make progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the sector and to increase adaptation efforts in the face of the inevitable impacts that are already being caused by global warming.
Taleb Rifai, General Secretary of the World Tourism Organization, shares the vision of building a more responsible and committed tourism sector that can capitalize its potential in terms of economic prosperity, social inclusion, peace and understanding, cultural and environmental preservation.
Tourism will be working in five key areas:
1. Inclusive and sustainable economic growth
2. Social inclusion, employment and poverty reduction
3. Resources efficiency , environmental protection and climate change
4. Cultural values, diversity and heritage
5. Mutual understanding, peace and security