International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by United Nations
The United Nations (UN) has declared Year 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism (IYST). 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 (3) dimensions of sustainable development, to job creation and to trade.
The initiative to adopt 2017 as the IYST 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.
Tourism is included as targets under three (3) of the SDGs - SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all; SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production and SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change.
“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” - UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
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