The UN General Assembly has approved the adoption of the year 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism.
In all the intensity surrounding the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21 or CMP11) held in Paris, France, The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. Officially adopted on the 4th of December, the resolution recognizes:
“…the importance of international tourism, and particularly of the designation of an international year of sustainable tourism for development, in fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere, in leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world” – Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, United Nationals World Tourism Organization
The adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism is a nod to the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which recognized that “well-designed and well-managed tourism” can play a crucial role in job creation, trade, and the three dimensions of sustainable development.
Sustainable development is at the forefront of issues in which the international community is eager to take action on. Adopting 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism could not come at a better time, not just with the recent UN Climate Change Conference, but also with the adoption of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the new Agenda 2030, both of which were approved by the UN General Assembly in September.
The decision to adopt 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism is a testament to the significant role tourism plays in achieving sustainable goals set forth by the international community over the next few decades.
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