The United Nations General Assembly declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
The UN recognizes the potential of Tourism to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals
People from across the world, have 12 months to celebrate and promote the contribution of the Tourism sector to building a better world.
The International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute effectively to the Sustainable Development Goals.
UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, said: “This is a unique opportunity to build a more responsible tourism sector that can capitalize on immense potential for economic prosperity, social inclusion, peace and understanding, cultural and environmental preservation.”
Accounting for seven per cent of worldwide exports, one in eleven jobs and 10 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product, the tourism sector if well managed can foster inclusive economic growth, social inclusiveness and the protection of cultural and natural assets.
The International Year will promote tourism’s role in five key areas of Inclusive and sustainable economic growth, Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction.
Other key areas are Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change, Cultural values, diversity and heritage, Mutual understanding, peace and security.
The presentation of the International Year will take place in Madrid on January 18, 2017 on the occasion of the Spanish Tourism Fair.