Published on : Monday, January 9, 2017
2017 has been declared the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development for creating awareness about the importance of promoting tourism responsibly. The official inauguration of the Year of Sustainable Tourism will be held in Madrid on January 18.
International tourist arrivals have recorded an annual increase of 4% or more since 2009. In 2014, the numbers grew by 4.3% and in 2015, they grew by 4.6%.
According to WTO, the volume of tourism business was expected to equal or even exceed that of oil, food or automobile exports, with these numbers. As a global export category, tourism ranks third after fuel and chemical products. It is ahead of food and automotive industry. In many developing countries, tourism is a primary export sector. According to the UNWTO, international tourist arrivals worldwide have risen from 25 million in 1950 to 1.186 billion in 2015.
Total international visitor spending on accommodation, food and drink, entertainment, shopping and other goods and services reached 1.26 billion US dollars. In 2015, France, the US, Spain, China and Italy were ranked as the world’s leading tourist destinations.
Tourism gives rise to one in eleven jobs worldwide and employs almost twice as many women as other sectors. It is expected that tourism will boost economic growth, help generate jobs and business opportunities so that millions of people can get out of poverty and improve their livelihoods and quality of life. Among the proposals for the sustainable tourism year is a commitment to reduce global CO2 emissions by five% by 2030, in addition to raising funds to protect heritage, wildlife, ecosystems and natural resources.
Through sustainable tourism, it is also expected to protect and restore biodiversity. To quote Taleb Rifai, the Secretary-General of the UNWTO, “This is a unique opportunity to build a more responsible and committed dedicated tourism sector that can capitalize on its immense potential in terms of economic prosperity, social inclusion, peace and understanding, cultural and environmental preservation.”
Tags: sustainable tourism