The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has approved the adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
The adopted resolution of the UN also recognises “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.”
UN World Tourism Organisation Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said, “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.”
Continuing to provide the back ground for the resolution, he added:
“As the lead UN agency for this initiative, UNWTO is very much looking forward to proceeding with the organization and implementation of the International Year, in collaboration with Governments, relevant organizations of the UN system, other international and regional organizations and all other relevant stakeholders.”
Observers said the decision followed the recognition by global leaders at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) that “well-designed and well-managed tourism” could contribute to the three dimensions of sustainable development, to job creation and to trade.