Published on : Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Each year, more than one billion tourists globally opt for holidays, creating millions of jobs and investment for local and national economies. But with long spanning mass tourism, it’s taking a toll on environment. The UNWTO says that tourism accounts for about 5% of CO2 emissions, which results in increased storms and heat waves, desertification, fresh water loss, rising sea levels that threaten coastal resorts and lesser snowfall in alpine skiing areas.
Since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro first floated the idea of sustainable tourism, it is apparent to world leaders that a fundamental change is needed in the way we approach the entire concept of travel. This is one of the main reasons why 2017 has been chosen as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism by the UN.
The UNWTO is doing everything to change the lives of local communities, but with growing tourist demand, a more strong and environment-friendly infrastructure is required to support the needs of both the tourism industry and local communities without causing any harm to the planet.
In 2010 the European Commission officially committed itself to promoting the development of sustainable, responsible and high-quality tourism. That commitment has now taken a global shape. The UNWTO is working in association with governments, public and private partners, finance institutions, UN agencies, NGOs and other international organisations for building a more sustainable tourism strategy. The concept of sustainable tourism has been unequivocally supported by the co-operative movement. Throughout the world, the co-operative tourism market offers an increasing variety of responsible and sustainable experiences for tourists.