The United Nations (UN) General Assembly approved the adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The main goal is to celebrate and promote, in the twelve months ahead, the contribution of tourism to foster a better world.
This decision follows the recognition by global leaders at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) that “well-designed and well-managed tourism” can contribute to the three dimensions of sustainable development, to job creation and to trade.
The decision to adopt 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development comes at a particularly important moment as the international community embraces the new Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), approved by the UN General Assembly last September.
“The declaration by the UN of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development is a unique opportunity to advance the contribution of the tourism sector to the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental, while raising awareness of the true dimensions of a sector which is often undervalued” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
The Smart Destination Congress hold in Palma last September , which claim was “Towards a sustainable future from a responsable present”, also pronnounced in the same direction. All the participants in the Congress highlighted the urgent need to change politics, business practices and consumers’ behaviours in order to foster the sustainability in the tourist sector.
Well-managed tourism should result fundamental to promote economical increase, social inclusión and the protection of cultural and natural heritages. We must not forget the tourist sector is responsable for 7% of world exports, one in eleven employments and 10% of GDP in the world. In the Balearic Islands, tourism is… EVERYTHING.
We would like to encourage all the actors of the sector (hotel managers, tourists, traders, citizens, …) to work hard so the tourism is the motor for an inclusive and sustainable economical rise, growth of employment and poverty reduction. In the same way, they are urged to use natural resources efficiently, spread cultural values, diversity and heritage. Tourism should be a tool to get understanding, peace and security in this convulsive world.