Sustainable tourism

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sustainable development goals in tourism

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Publications.

Tourism is one of the world's fastest growing industries and an important source of foreign exchange and employment, while being closely linked to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of many countries, especially developing countries. Maritime or ocean-related tourism, as well as coastal tourism, are for example vital sectors of the economy in small island developing States (SIDS) and coastal least developed countries (LDCs) (see also: The Potential of the Blue Economy report as well as the Community of Ocean Action on sustainable blue economy).

The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities".

Based on General assembly resolution 70/193, 2017 was declared as the  International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development SDG target 8.9, aims to “by 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products”. The importance of sustainable tourism is also highlighted in SDG target 12.b. which aims to “develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products”.

Tourism is also identified as one of the tools to “by 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries” as comprised in SDG target 14.7.

In the Rio+20 outcome document The Future We want, sustainable tourism is defined by paragraph 130 as a significant contributor “to the three dimensions of sustainable development” thanks to its close linkages to other sectors and its ability to create decent jobs and generate trade opportunities. Therefore, Member States recognize “the need to support sustainable tourism activities and relevant capacity-building that promote environmental awareness, conserve and protect the environment, respect wildlife, flora, biodiversity, ecosystems and cultural diversity, and improve the welfare and livelihoods of local communities by supporting their local economies and the human and natural environment as a whole. ” In paragraph 130, Member States also “call for enhanced support for sustainable tourism activities and relevant capacity-building in developing countries in order to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development”.

In paragraph 131, Member States “encourage the promotion of investment in sustainable tourism, including eco-tourism and cultural tourism, which may include creating small- and medium-sized enterprises and facilitating access to finance, including through microcredit initiatives for the poor, indigenous peoples and local communities in areas with high eco-tourism potential”. In this regard, Member States also “underline the importance of establishing, where necessary, appropriate guidelines and regulations in accordance with national priorities and legislation for promoting and supporting sustainable tourism”.

In 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg called for the promotion of sustainable tourism development, including non-consumptive and eco-tourism, in Chapter IV, paragraph 43 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

At the Johannesburg Summit, the launch of the “Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP) initiative was announced. The initiative was inaugurated by the World Tourism Organization, in collaboration with UNCTAD, in order to develop sustainable tourism as a force for poverty alleviation.

The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) last reviewed the issue of sustainable tourism in 2001, when it was acting as the Preparatory Committee for the Johannesburg Summit.

The importance of sustainable tourism was also mentioned in Agenda 21.

For more information and documents on this topic,  please visit this link

UNWTO Annual Report 2015

2015 was a landmark year for the global community. In September, the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a universal agenda for planet and people. Among the 17 SDGs and 169 associated targets, tourism is explicitly featured in Goa...

UNWTO Annual Report 2016

In December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This is a unique opportunity to devote a year to activities that promote the transformational power of tourism to help us reach a better future. This important cele...

Emerging Issues for Small Island Developing States

The 2012 UNEP Foresight Process on Emerging Global Environmental Issues primarily identified emerging environmental issues and possible solutions on a global scale and perspective. In 2013, UNEP carried out a similar exercise to identify priority emerging environmental issues that are of concern to ...

Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom, We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for su...

15 Years of the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection: A Compilation of Good Practices

Although it is widely recognized that tourism is not the cause of child exploitation, it can aggravate the problem when parts of its infrastructure, such as transport networks and accommodation facilities, are exploited by child abusers for nefarious ends. Additionally, many other factors that contr...

Towards Measuring the Economic Value of Wildlife Watching Tourism in Africa

Set against the backdrop of the ongoing poaching crisis driven by a dramatic increase in the illicit trade in wildlife products, this briefing paper intends to support the ongoing efforts of African governments and the broader international community in the fight against poaching. Specifically, this...

Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012

Previous Caribbean assessments lumped data together into a single database regardless of geographic location, reef environment, depth, oceanographic conditions, etc. Data from shallow lagoons and back reef environments were combined with data from deep fore-reef environments and atolls. Geographic c...

Natural Resources Forum: Special Issue Tourism

The journal considers papers on all topics relevant to sustainable development. In addition, it dedicates series, issues and special sections to specific themes that are relevant to the current discussions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)....

Thailand: Supporting Sustainable Development in Thailand: A Geographic Clusters Approach

Market forces and government policies, including the Tenth National Development Plan (2007-2012), are moving Thailand toward a more geographically specialized economy. There is a growing consensus that Thailand’s comparative and competitive advantages lie in amenity services that have high reliance...

Road Map on Building a Green Economy for Sustainable Development in Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Grenada

This publication is the product of an international study led by the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in cooperation with the Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs and the Ministry of Environment, Foreig...

Natural Resources Forum, a United Nations Sustainable Development Journal (NRF)

  Natural Resources Forum, a United Nations Sustainable Development Journal, seeks to address gaps in current knowledge and stimulate relevant policy discussions, leading to the implementation of the sustainable development agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable...

UN Ocean Conference 2025

Our Ocean, Our Future, Our Responsibility “The ocean is fundamental to life on our planet and to our future. The ocean is an important source of the planet’s biodiversity and plays a vital role in the climate system and water cycle. The ocean provides a range of ecosystem services, supplies us with

UN Ocean Conference 2022

The UN Ocean Conference 2022, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, came at a critical time as the world was strengthening its efforts to mobilize, create and drive solutions to realize the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

58th Session of the Commission for Social Development – CSocD58

22nd general assembly of the united nations world tourism organization, world tourism day 2017 official celebration.

This year’s World Tourism Day, held on 27 September, will be focused on Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development. Celebrated in line with the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the Day will be dedicated to exploring the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Deve

World Tourism Day 2016 Official Celebration

Accessible Tourism for all is about the creation of environments that can cater for the needs of all of us, whether we are traveling or staying at home. May that be due to a disability, even temporary, families with small children, or the ageing population, at some point in our lives, sooner or late

4th Global Summit on City Tourism

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the Regional Council for Tourism of Marrakesh with support of the Government of Morroco are organizing the 4th Global Summit on City Tourism in Marrakesh, Morroco (9-10 December 2015). International experts in city tourism, representatives of city DMOs, of

2nd Euro-Asian Mountain Resorts Conference

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Ulsan Metropolitan City with support of the Government of the Republic of Korea are organizing the 2nd Euro-Asian Mountain Resorts Conference, in Ulsan, Republic of Korea (14 - 16 October 2015). Under the title “Paving the Way for a Bright Future for Mounta

21st General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization

Unwto regional conference enhancing brand africa - fostering tourism development.

Tourism is one of the Africa’s most promising sectors in terms of development, and represents a major opportunity to foster inclusive development, increase the region’s participation in the global economy and generate revenues for investment in other activities, including environmental preservation.

  • January 2017 International Year of Tourism In the context of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute to the SDGs.
  • January 2015 Targets 8.9, 12 b,14.7 The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development commits Member States, through Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.9 to “devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products”. The importance of sustainable tourism, as a driver for jobs creation and the promotion of local culture and products, is also highlighted in Sustainable Development Goal target 12.b. Tourism is also identified as one of the tools to “increase [by 2030] the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries”, through Sustainable Development Goals Target 14.7.
  • January 2012 Future We Want (Para 130-131) Sustainable tourism is defined as a significant contributor “to the three dimensions of sustainable development” thanks to its close linkages to other sectors and its ability to create decent jobs and generate trade opportunities. Therefore, Member States recognize “the need to support sustainable tourism activities and relevant capacity-building that promote environmental awareness, conserve and protect the environment, respect wildlife, flora, biodiversity, ecosystems and cultural diversity, and improve the welfare and livelihoods of local communities” as well as to “encourage the promotion of investment in sustainable tourism, including eco-tourism and cultural tourism, which may include creating small and medium sized enterprises and facilitating access to finance, including through microcredit initiatives for the poor, indigenous peoples and local communities in areas with high eco-tourism potential”.
  • January 2009 Roadmap for Recovery UNWTO announced in March 2009 the elaboration of a Roadmap for Recovery to be finalized by UNWTO’s General Assembly, based on seven action points. The Roadmap includes a set of 15 recommendations based on three interlocking action areas: resilience, stimulus, green economy aimed at supporting the tourism sector and the global economy.
  • January 2008 Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria represent the minimum requirements any tourism business should observe in order to ensure preservation and respect of the natural and cultural resources and make sure at the same time that tourism potential as tool for poverty alleviation is enforced. The Criteria are 41 and distributed into four different categories: 1) sustainability management, 2) social and economic 3) cultural 4) environmental.
  • January 2003 WTO becomes a UN specialized body By Resolution 453 (XV), the Assembly agreed on the transformation of the WTO into a United Nations specialized body. Such transformation was later ratified by the United Nations General Assembly with the adoption of Resolution A/RES/58/232.
  • January 2003 1st Int. Conf. on Climate Change and Tourism The conference was organized in order to gather tourism authorities, organizations, businesses and scientists to discuss on the impact that climate change can have on the tourist sector. The event took place from 9 till 11 April 2003 in Djerba, Tunisia.
  • January 2002 World Ecotourism Summit Held in May 2002, in Quebec City, Canada, the Summit represented the most important event in the framework of the International Year of Ecosystem. The Summit identified as main themes: ecotourism policy and planning, regulation of ecotourism, product development, marketing and promotion of ecotourism and monitoring costs and benefits of ecotourism.
  • January 1985 Tourism Bill of Rights and Tourist Code At the World Tourism Organization Sixth Assembly held in Sofia in 1985, the Tourism Bill of Rights and Tourist Code were adopted, setting out the rights and duties of tourists and host populations and formulating policies and action for implementation by states and the tourist industry.
  • January 1982 Acapulco Document Adopted in 1982, the Acapulco Document acknowledges the new dimension and role of tourism as a positive instrument towards the improvement of the quality of life for all peoples, as well as a significant force for peace and international understanding. The Acapulco Document also urges Member States to elaborate their policies, plans and programmes on tourism, in accordance with their national priorities and within the framework of the programme of work of the World Tourism Organization.
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Tourism & SDGs

Tourism has the potential to contribute, directly or indirectly to all of the goals

  • Tourism & Sustainable Development Goals

The historic agreement among world leaders at the United Nations in 2015 on a universal 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development committed all countries to pursue a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that would lead to a better future for all. The bold agenda sets out a global framework to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change until 2030.

As the 17 SDGs and the corresponding 169 SDG targets offer the world a new direction, tourism can and must play a significant role in delivering sustainable solutions for people, the planet, prosperity and peace.

Tourism as an economic powerhouse is the third highest world category in export earnings in 2015, representing 10% of world GDP, 30% of services exports and 1 out of every 10 jobs in the world. Tourism has the potential to contribute, directly or indirectly to all of the goals. In particular, it has been included as targets in Goals 8, 12 and 14 on inclusive and sustainable economic growth, sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and the sustainable use of oceans and marine resources, respectively.

Tourism provides income through job creation at local and community levels.

Tourism can spur sustainable agriculture by promoting the production and supplies to hotels

Tax income generated from tourism can be reinvested in health care and services

Tourism has the potential to promote inclusiveness

Tourism can empower women, particularly through the provision of direct jobs and income-generation

Tourism investment requirement for providing utilities can play a critical role in achieving water access and security

As a sector, which is energy intensive, tourism can accelerate the shift towards increased renewable energy shares

Tourism, as services trade, is one of the top four export earners globally

Tourism development relies on good public and private infrastructure

Tourism can be a powerful tool for community development and reducing inequalities if it engages local populations and all key stakeholders in its development.

Tourism can advance urban infrastructure and accessibility, promote regeneration and preserve cultural and natural heritage, assets on which tourism depends.

The tourism sector needs to adopt sustainable consumption and production (SCP) modes

Tourism contributes to and is affected by climate change.

Coastal and maritime tourism rely on healthy marine ecosystems.

Rich biodiversity and natural heritage are often the main reasons why tourists visit a destination.

As tourism revolves around billions of encounters between people of diverse cultural backgrounds,

Due to its cross-sectoral nature, tourism has the ability to strengthen private/public partnerships

Several countries have demonstrated that COVID-19 transmission from one person to another...

Tourism4SDGs19 offers the opportunity for a wide range of scholars and tourism...

Tourism is one of the strongest pillars of Dubai’s economic growth. With...

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sustainable development goals in tourism

  • A/70/472 - Sustainable development: report of the Second Committee [Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]
  • A/RES/70/193 - International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017 [Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]
  • A/RES/70/196 - Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America [Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]
  • A/RES/70/200 - Global Code of Ethics for Tourism [Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]
  • Compendium of Best Practices in Sustainable Tourism

sustainable development goals in tourism

The report describes tourism as a driver of sustainable development, and explains that tourism benefits economic growth, quality of life, environmental protection, diverse cultural heritage and world peace.

The report highlights action areas and makes recommendations for governments, businesses and individuals.

Among others, the publication recommends that: governments establish and enforce inclusive and integrated policy frameworks for sustainable tourism development; businesses demonstrate their commitment to sustainability in core business models and value chains with enhanced action; and individuals and civil society advocate for and adopt consciously sustainable practices and behaviors.

6 June 2018: The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has published a two-volume report titled, ‘Tourism for Development,’ that makes recommendations on the ways in which tourism could contribute to sustainable development and the SDGs, and illustrates the global reach and positive effects of tourism on other sectors.

The publication aims to increase awareness of tourism’s role in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and of the need to integrate sustainability into tourism policies, business practices and tourist behavior. Describing tourism as a driver of sustainable development, the report explains that tourism benefits economic growth, quality of life, environmental protection, diverse cultural heritage and world peace.

An output of the International Year of Tourism 2017 (IY2017), the publication is structured around IY2017’s five pillars: sustainable economic growth; social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction; resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change; cultural values, diversity and heritage; and mutual understanding, peace and security.

The first volume demonstrates the ways in which tourism can contribute to these areas, identifies each pillar’s links with the SDGs, highlights action areas, and makes recommendations for governments, businesses and individuals. A cross-cutting section addresses governance, policy frameworks and instruments for sustainable tourism. The second volume includes descriptions of 23 case studies, and highlights tourism’s contribution to the SDGs.

The report elaborates on tourism’s opportunities for development, including: prospects for women and youth, developing countries, rural areas and indigenous communities; its potential to help conserve resources and cultural assets; and its capacity to inspire interaction and understanding. It explains that tourism can act as a catalyst for environmental and cultural protection, and strengthen peace and reconciliation. The report also identifies challenges, such as: tourism’s sensitivity to market influences; poor working conditions; emissions and pollution; potential adverse effects on biodiversity, heritage and communities; and lack of comprehensive data on tourism’s impacts on sustainability.

Tourism can act as catalyst for environmental and cultural protection, and strengthen peace and reconciliation.

The report recommends that, inter alia : governments establish and enforce inclusive and integrated policy frameworks for sustainable tourism development; businesses demonstrate their commitment to sustainability in core business models and value chains with enhanced action; and individuals and civil society advocate for and adopt consciously sustainable practices and behaviors.

Tourism Links with the SDGs

The report highlights three SDG targets, in particular, that mention sustainable tourism, namely: SDG target 8.9 on devising and implementing sustainable tourism policies that create jobs and promote local culture and products; SDG target 12.b on developing and implementing tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism; and SDG target 14.7 on increasing the economic benefits to small island developing States (SIDS) and the least developed countries (LDCs) from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.

The report also spells out tourism’s links to each of the 17 SDGs:

  • SDG 1 (no poverty): tourism can be linked to national poverty reduction strategies and entrepreneurship through low skills requirements and local recruitment;
  • SDG 2 (zero hunger): tourism can spur sustainable agriculture by promoting production, supplies to hotels, and sales of local products to tourists;
  • SDG 3 (good health and well-being): tax income generated from tourism and visitors fees collected in protected areas can be reinvested in health care and services;
  • SDG 4 (quality education): capacity and skills need to be built to ensure the tourism sector can prosper and provide job opportunities for youth, women and those with special needs;
  • SDG 5 (gender equality): tourism can empower women, particularly through the provision of direct jobs and income generation in tourism and hospitality-related enterprises;
  • SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation): tourism investment requirement for providing utilities can play a critical role in achieving water access and security, hygiene and sanitation;
  • SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy): tourism can help reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs), mitigate climate change and contribute to energy access by promoting clean energy investments;
  • SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth): decent work opportunities in tourism, particularly for youth and women, and policies that favor better diversification through tourism value chains can enhance tourism’s positive socioeconomic impacts;
  • SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure): tourism can influence public policies aimed at upgrading and retrofitting infrastructure to make it more sustainable, innovative and efficient;
  • SDG 10 (reduced inequalities): sustainable tourism can engage local populations and all stakeholders in tourism development, and contribute to urban renewal and rural development;
  • SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities): tourism can, inter alia , promote urban regeneration, and preserve cultural and natural heritage;
  • SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production): adopting sustainable consumption and production (SCP) models can help monitor sustainable development impacts for tourism, including for energy, water, waste, biodiversity and job creation;
  • SDG 13 (climate action): tourism stakeholders can play a critical leading role in fighting climate change by reducing their carbon footprints;
  • SDG 14 (life below water): tourism development can help preserve marine ecosystems and promote a blue economy and the sustainable use of marine resources;
  • SDG 15 (life on land): sustainable tourism can help conserve and preserve biodiversity, and generate revenue as an alternative livelihood for local communities;
  • SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions): tourism can help foster multicultural and interfaith tolerance and understanding, and peace in post-conflict societies; and
  • SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals): tourism can strengthen public-private partnerships (PPPs) and engage all stakeholders to work together to achieve the SDGs.

Tourism and SDG Links with IY2017 Five Pillars

Regarding sustainable economic growth (pillar 1), the report highlights links with, inter alia , SDG target 8.9, target 9.1 on infrastructure development in transborder contexts and target 17.3 on support for promoting investments.

On social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction (pillar 2), the report points to: SDG target 1.4 on ensuring rights to economic resources for the poor and vulnerable; SDG 3, which is linked to enabling individuals to benefit from tourism as a “life-enhancing” activity; SDG targets 4.3-4.5 on access to vocational education and skills training; targets related to SDGs 5 and 10 on social inclusiveness of sustainable tourism development; and SDG target 8.9.

Regarding resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change (pillar 3), the report notes interlinkages with, inter alia , SDG target 8.4 on resource efficiency in consumption and production; SDG target 12.b; SDG target 12.1 on implementation of 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP), including the Sustainable Tourism Programme; SDG targets 12.3 and 12.6 on food waste and sustainability reporting by companies; and target 14.7.

On cultural values, diversity and heritage (pillar 4), the report describes links with SDG target 11.4 on strengthened efforts to protect and safeguard cultural and natural heritage; and aspects of SDGs 8 and 12 that mention culture in relation to tourism.

Regarding mutual understanding, peace and security (pillar 5), the report references SDG 17, which discusses issues relevant for sustainable tourism development, such as means of implementation (MOI), policy and institutional coherence, multi-stakeholder partnerships, data, monitoring and accountability.

The report recommends funding for sustainable tourism development towards SDG-related projects, such as: national tourism strategies to achieve sustainable development; strategic infrastructure projects; and scalable and innovative sustainable tourism projects.

The case studies contained in Volume II address, inter alia : green supply chains in Slovenia; a world heritage site in Egypt; women entrepreneurs in Mali; a responsible tourism initiative in Kerala, India; a coral island park in Tanzania; wildlife conservation in Kenya; climate change vulnerability in Mexico; enhancing the climate resilience of tourism-reliant communities in Samoa; hostels in the US; sustainable tourism governance in Bohol province, the Philippines; a sustainable tourism initiative in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE); and the Youth Career Initiative, which helps the hotel sector address SDG 8 by supporting disadvantaged youth, including human trafficking survivors, through skills and employability training.

The report was released on 6 June 2018 in Brussels, Belgium, during European Development Days (EDD). [Publication: Tourism for Development: Volume I: Key Areas for Action ] [ Tourism for Development: Volume II: Success Stories ] [ Volume I Landing Page ] [ Volume II Landing Page ] [ UNWTO Press Release ]

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The SDG Update compiles the news, commentary and upcoming events that are published on the SDG Knowledge Hub each day, delivering information on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to your inbox.

Welcome to IISD's SDG Knowledge Hub

It’s been a record-setting year for global travel – here’s how we make tourism inclusive and sustainable

A colourful market in Columbia selling bags, clothes and crafts: Inclusive and sustainable travel and tourism includes supporting micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses.

Inclusive and sustainable travel and tourism includes supporting micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses. Image:  Unsplash/Michael Barón

.chakra .wef-1c7l3mo{-webkit-transition:all 0.15s ease-out;transition:all 0.15s ease-out;cursor:pointer;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;outline:none;color:inherit;}.chakra .wef-1c7l3mo:hover,.chakra .wef-1c7l3mo[data-hover]{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.chakra .wef-1c7l3mo:focus,.chakra .wef-1c7l3mo[data-focus]{box-shadow:0 0 0 3px rgba(168,203,251,0.5);} Nicola Villa

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  • The global travel sector is experiencing a robust recovery, with tourists increasingly spending more on travel.
  • Despite the overall positive outlook, some destinations struggle with operational challenges, including workforce issues and resource management amid rising tourist numbers and environmental concerns.
  • The travel and tourism sector’s potential for advancing socio-economic prosperity is particularly impactful through the support of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises.

The global travel sector forecast is in and it's sunny skies ahead. Through March 2024, consumer spending on travel remains strong, and passenger traffic has soared. Empowered by a strong labour market worldwide, tourists will be on the roads, air and seas once again, with more of people’s budgets on travel.

The latest report from the Mastercard Economics Institute, Travel Trends 2024: Breaking Boundaries , reveals that 2024 has already witnessed multiple record-setting days as consumer spending on leisure travel remains strong. The data shows that post-pandemic travellers continue to seek unique experiences rooted in local cultures while increasingly prioritizing spending on memorable events across sports, music and festivals.

The Mastercard Economics Institute’s analysis reveals that travellers also seek opportunities to extend their stays, prioritizing leisure for longer. For the first 12 months between March 2019 and February 2020, a trip’s average length of stay was about four days. As of March 2024, the average length of a leisure trip has edged closer to five days, which translates into an economic boost for the destinations and communities hosting them.

Have you read?

These are the top 10 countries for travel and tourism, what is travel and tourism’s role in future global prosperity, travel & tourism development index 2024, tackling tourism’s challenges.

Yet, while the overall outlook for travellers looks bright, that’s not the case for all destinations. Some tourism hotspots and lesser-known locales are facing growing challenges around operating conditions. The World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) 2024 highlights the ongoing constraints facing the global travel and tourism sector – including the lack of investment in skilled and resilient workforces and issues around resource management – cultural and natural – as destinations grapple with higher tourist visitor numbers and rising environmental concerns.

The report offers travel and tourism decision-makers recommendations around how the sector can take a more active role in tackling social challenges across socio-economic prosperity, peace and cultural exchange. As the industry accounts for approximately one-tenth of global gross domestic product and employment , the public and private sectors must work together to ensure future tourism development is, first and foremost, inclusive and sustainable.

Supporting the backbone of travel and tourism

As the TTDI 2024 notes, one area where the sector’s potential in advancing socio-economic prosperity can be particularly impactful is in the economic empowerment of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, more than 80% of travel and tourism businesses fall under this category.

Policies and investments promoting the adoption of digital solutions and enhancing digital skills development while improving access to credit can provide a major boost to tourism-focused MSMEs.

In Costa Rica, the Instituto Costariccense de Turismo, a member of Mastercard’s Tourism Innovation Hub , is championing such an approach to ensure increased tourist traffic results in better opportunities for MSMEs. Last year, the institute launched Tico Treasures , a platform facilitating tourist connections with Costa Rica’s Crafts with Identity programme, a group of 17 artisan collectives across the country. The platform allows visitors to discover local Costa Rican products, learn about artisan communities and then purchase and ship the goods back to their home country – all through one experience.

The programme is an example of public-private collaboration, including backing from Correos de Costa Rica, Banco de Costa Rica and the Instituto Costariccense de Turismo. Its objectives are multifold: delivering more authentic experiences for tourists, expanding citizens’ access to the digital economy and contributing to MSME resilience.

Protecting future environments

There are also novel approaches to solving destinations’ sustainability challenges underway. A key role of the Travel Foundation , a global non-government organization, is to facilitate innovative public-private collaborations in tourism that accelerate and scale sustainable solutions. One notable example is in Scotland, where the national tourism organization VisitScotland is partnering with the Travel Corporation, a global tour operator, to help decarbonize the destination supply chain. Both organizations are pooling their insights, data and expertise to support local businesses, develop new ideas for reducing carbon footprints and identify barriers to a green transition.

The learnings from this and other projects led by the Travel Foundation will be shared to influence future policy, investment and product development decisions at national and global levels. By combining public sector resources and capabilities with private sector technological expertise, travel and tourism decision-makers can enact policies and programmes that balance tourism growth with environmental protection, providing a nuanced approach that works for unique destinations.

It’s an important time for the sector – to leverage travel and tourism’s robust recovery and advance socio-economic prosperity, fuelling a more inclusive future for our treasured destinations. By accelerating collaboration between governments, destination management organizations and technology companies, we can ensure destinations, the communities that power them and the environments they inhabit are at the heart of all future tourism development.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

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Please note you do not have access to teaching notes, does awareness of sdgs influence tourists’ behavior an examination of the determinants of sustainable travel behavior considering the un2030 agenda.

Consumer Behavior in Tourism and Hospitality

ISSN : 2752-6666

Article publication date: 18 June 2024

This study aims to examine a comprehensive model for the concurrent effects of tourists’ sustainability concerns, social norms, frugality and awareness of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) on sustainable travel behavior (STB), with sustainability in this case extending beyond the environmental to include economic and socio-cultural aspects as well.

Design/methodology/approach

The model is tested using a structural equation modeling technique based on data collected from 200 US respondents who traveled internationally in the past year.

Results reveal that all aforementioned variables, namely, sustainability concerns, social norms, frugality and SDG awareness, when considered together each positively influenced STB. However, SDG awareness did not accentuate tourists’ sustainability concerns associated with travel and tourism, as initially hypothesized.

Originality/value

Unlike previous studies that have mainly focused on the pro-environmental aspects of sustainability and failed to consider the aforementioned variables concurrently, the results from this study advance our understanding of the determinants of STB (more generally) while accounting specifically for the expected role of the UN SDG agenda.

  • SDG awareness
  • Social norms
  • Sustainable travel behavior (STB)

Acknowledgements

Declarations of interest : None.

Data availability statement : The author(s) agree to make data and materials supporting the results or analyses presented in their paper available upon reasonable request.

Assaker, G. (2024), "Does awareness of SDGs influence tourists’ behavior? An examination of the determinants of sustainable travel behavior considering the UN2030 Agenda", Consumer Behavior in Tourism and Hospitality , Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/CBTH-01-2024-0001

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Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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United Nations Sustainable Development Logo

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

Goal 2 is about creating a world free of hunger by 2030.The global issue of hunger and food insecurity has shown an alarming increase since 2015, a trend exacerbated by a combination of factors including the pandemic, conflict, climate change, and deepening inequalities.

By 2022, approximately 735 million people – or 9.2% of the world’s population – found themselves in a state of chronic hunger – a staggering rise compared to 2019. This data underscores the severity of the situation, revealing a growing crisis.

In addition, an estimated 2.4 billion people faced moderate to severe food insecurity in 2022. This classification signifies their lack of access to sufficient nourishment. This number escalated by an alarming 391 million people compared to 2019.

The persistent surge in hunger and food insecurity, fueled by a complex interplay of factors, demands immediate attention and coordinated global efforts to alleviate this critical humanitarian challenge.

Extreme hunger and malnutrition remains a barrier to sustainable development and creates a trap from which people cannot easily escape. Hunger and malnutrition mean less productive individuals, who are more prone to disease and thus often unable to earn more and improve their livelihoods.

2 billion people in the world do not have reg- ular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. In 2022, 148 million children had stunted growth and 45 million children under the age of 5 were affected by wasting.

How many people are hungry?

It is projected that more than 600 million people worldwide will be facing hunger in 2030, highlighting the immense challenge of achieving the zero hunger target.

People experiencing moderate food insecurity are typically unable to eat a healthy, balanced diet on a regular basis because of income or other resource constraints.

Why are there so many hungry people?

Shockingly, the world is back at hunger levels not seen since 2005, and food prices remain higher in more countries than in the period 2015–2019. Along with conflict, climate shocks, and rising cost of living, civil insecurity and declining food production have all contributed to food scarcity and high food prices.

Investment in the agriculture sector is critical for reducing hunger and poverty, improving food security, creating employment and building resilience to disasters and shocks.

Why should I care?

We all want our families to have enough food to eat what is safe and nutritious. A world with zero hunger can positively impact our economies, health, education, equality and social development.

It’s a key piece of building a better future for everyone. Additionally, with hunger limiting human development, we will not be able to achieve the other sustainable development goals such as education, health and gender equality.

How can we achieve Zero Hunger?

Food security requires a multi-dimensional approach – from social protection to safeguard safe and nutritious food especially for children to transforming food systems to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable world. There will need to be investments in rural and urban areas and in social protection so poor people have access to food and can improve their livelihoods.

What can we do to help?

You can make changes in your own life—at home, at work and in the community—by supporting local farmers or markets and making sustainable food choices, supporting good nutrition for all, and fighting food waste.

You can also use your power as a consumer and voter, demanding businesses and governments make the choices and changes that will make Zero Hunger a reality. Join the conversation, whether on social media platforms or in your local communities.

Photo: Two and a half million people in the Central African Republic (CAR) are facing hunger.

Facts and Figures

Goal 2 targets.

  • Despite global efforts, in 2022, an estimated 45 million children under the age of 5 suffered from wasting, 148 million had stunted growth and 37 million were overweight. A fundamental shift in trajectory is needed to achieve the 2030 nutrition targets.
  • To achieve zero hunger by 2030, urgent coordinated action and policy solutions are imperative to address entrenched inequalities, transform food systems, invest in sustainable agricultural practices, and reduce and mitigate the impact of conflict and the pandemic on global nutrition and food security.

Source: The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2023

2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.

2.2 By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons.

2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment.

2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.

2.5 By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed.

2.A Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries.

2.B Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round.

2.C Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility.

International Fund for Agricultural Development

Food and Agriculture Organization

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UNICEF – Nutrition

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Fast Facts: No Hunger

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  • Get involved

Launch of Grant Projects Platform for Sustainable Development in the Aral Sea Region and beyond

June 7, 2024.

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Uzbekistan, 7 June 2024. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Investment, Industry, and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan is proud to announce the launch of the  Monitoring Platform of the Grant Projects. This ceremony marking a significant step towards enhancing transparency and accountability in project implementation and coordination of grant projects across the country.

The Grant Projects Platform is an automated information system aimed at monitoring of projects implemented in Uzbekistan with the participation of foreign assistance. It was initially developed to monitor projects implemented in the Aral Sea Region, then government has scaled the platform to oversee all projects involving foreign assistance in Uzbekistan. The platform publishes information on implemented, ongoing, and proposed grant projects, including details such as initiators, project areas, cost, duration, location, effectiveness, and other relevant information. The system also facilitates contact of government offices of Uzbekistan with foreign donors to secure project financing.

The launch ceremony brought together key stakeholders, including government officials, representatives and international partners. Participants had an opportunity to explore the functionalities of the Monitoring Platform, exchange best practices, and chart a course for future collaboration in advancing Uzbekistan's development agenda.

sustainable development goals in tourism

"We are delighted to inaugurate the Monitoring Platform of the Grant Projects, which represents a transformative tool for enhancing project management and ensuring the effective utilization of resources",

sustainable development goals in tourism

“This platform, initially designed to monitor projects in the Aral Sea region, has become a testament to the collaborative efforts and dedication of both UNDP and the Government of Uzbekistan in promoting sustainable development”,

As we continue our journey towards prosperity and sustainable development, the Monitoring Platform of the Grant Projects stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in driving positive change. Through concerted efforts and shared vision, stakeholders can unlock new opportunities and build a brighter future for all.

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UN Tourism | Bringing the world closer

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Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals

ISBN : 978-92-844-1725-4

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  1. Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals

    A joint effort by UNWTO, UNDP and other partners, Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals - Journey to 2030 aims to build knowledge, and empower and inspire tourism stakeholders to take necessary action to accelerate the shift towards a more sustainable tourism sector by aligning policies, business operations and investments with the SDGs.

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    In the context of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute to the SDGs.

  3. Tourism in 2030 Agenda

    Tourism in the 2030 Agenda. The year 2015 has been a milestone for global development as governments have adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The bold agenda sets out a global framework to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change until 2030.

  4. The progression of sustainable development goals in tourism: A

    The UN 2030 agenda for global sustainable development has huge connotations for the theory, practice, and policy of tourism. This study comprehensively evaluates extant scholarly publications related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in existing tourism scholarship.

  5. Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals

    Description. PDF. Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals - Journey to 2030 serves as a guide to how the tourism sector can contribute towards the implementation and achievement of the 17 SDGs. It aims to inspire governments, policymakers and tourism companies to incorporate relevant aspects of the SDGs into policy and financing ...

  6. Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals

    Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals Description PDF Article / Chapter Tools. Add to Favorites; Email to a Friend; Send to Citation Mgr; Track Citations; Download PDF; Subscription Options. UN Tourism Publications | UN Tourism Home | Terms & Conditions | ... UN Tourism is a specialized agency of the United Nations ...

  7. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through Tourism

    Abstract: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal through Tourism - Toolkit of Indicators for Projects (TIPs), developed in partnership between the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is a comprehensive resource designed to guide users in aligning tourism development projects with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  8. Tourism & Sustainable Development Goals

    As the 17 SDGs and the corresponding 169 SDG targets offer the world a new direction, tourism can and must play a significant role in delivering sustainable solutions for people, the planet, prosperity and peace. Tourism as an economic powerhouse is the third highest world category in export earnings in 2015, representing 10% of world GDP, 30% ...

  9. Sustainable tourism .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

    In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development SDG target 8.9, aims to "by 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products". The importance of sustainable tourism is also highlighted in SDG target 12.b. which aims to "develop and implement tools to monitor ...

  10. Full article: Sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030 in the

    The Editorial, titled "Tourism 2030 and the contribution to the sustainable development goals: the tourism review viewpoint" (Buhalis et al., Citation 2023) analyzes each of the 17 goals, pointing to specific studies and publications showing the usefulness of tourism to achieve them and its limitations (see Figure 1). This work is a good ...

  11. UNWTO Report Links Sustainable Tourism to 17 SDGs

    SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals): tourism can strengthen public-private partnerships (PPPs) and engage all stakeholders to work together to achieve the SDGs. ... The report recommends funding for sustainable tourism development towards SDG-related projects, such as: national tourism strategies to achieve sustainable development; strategic ...

  12. TOURISM 4 SDGs

    UN Tourism is responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism geared towards the achievement of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UN Tourism offers leadership and support to the tourism sector in advancing knowledge and tourism ...

  13. Sustainable development

    Sustainable tourism development requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong political leadership to ensure wide participation and consensus building. Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process and it requires constant monitoring of impacts, introducing the necessary preventive and/or corrective ...

  14. Role of Tourism in Sustainable Development

    Background. Tourism is one of the world's largest industries, and it has linkages with many of the prime sectors of the global economy (Fennell, 2020).As a global economic sector, tourism represents one of the largest generators of wealth, and it is an important agent of economic growth and development (Garau-Vadell et al., 2018).Tourism is a critical industry in many local and national ...

  15. Ten Principles for Sustainable Destinations: Charting a new path

    Launched on World Tourism Day 2022, under the global theme of "Rethinking Tourism", the 10 principles presented in this paper provide guidance, best practices and possible tools for stakeholders to collaboratively and effectively reconsider how they manage destinations and tourism practices; deliberately and proactively designing for the resilience and sustainability of the place, the ...

  16. Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals

    Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals - Journey to 2030 aims to build knowledge, empower and inspire tourism stakeholders to take necessary action to accelerate the shift towards a more sustainable tourism sector by aligning policies, business operations and investments with the SDGs. The publication highlights the links between tourism and the SDGs and provides recommendations on ...

  17. Tourism and the sustainable development goals: Stakeholders

    The sustainable development of nature-based tourism may contribute to the achievement of several SDGs, including climate action (SDG 13) and life on land (SDG 15). In addition to conservation, the GoN has also promoted ecotourism in PAs to positively influence rural livelihoods and address the issue of poverty (SDG 1).

  18. Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, world governments agreed on The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the center of the plan, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were designed to end poverty, save our planet and create a prosperous world for all by 2030. Tourism is one of the only industries in the world that can play a role in actioning all 17.

  19. Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020

    Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development; Division for Sustainable Development Goals; Population Division; Division for Public Institutions and Digital ...

  20. Tourism-Led Inclusive Growth in Emerging and Developing Economies: A

    Moreover, the conception of inclusive growth is well pronounced in the Sustainable Development Goal number 8 (SDG-8) of the United Nations. Tourism is also mentioned in SDG-8 because of its wide-ranging and profound impact on the destination's economy and is adopted by the UNWTO in its 2030 sustainable tourism agenda (Bianchi & Man, 2021).As mentioned in the Global Economic Impacts & trends ...

  21. How we make travel and tourism inclusive and sustainable

    The World Economic Forum's Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) 2024 highlights the ongoing constraints facing the global travel and tourism sector - including the lack of investment in skilled and resilient workforces and issues around resource management - cultural and natural - as destinations grapple with higher tourist visitor ...

  22. Driving Tourism Forward: Balancing Sustainability and Economic Growth

    In addition, a community-based tourism website was launched in May 2023 that digitized the business and product data of a network of rural micro, small, and medium-sized tourism businesses operating in the APEC region. The new Tourism Strategic Plan 2025-2029 will be our blueprint for the future of tourism that is sustainable and inclusive.

  23. Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals

    Abstract: Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals - Journey to 2030 aims to build knowledge, empower and inspire tourism stakeholders to take necessary action to accelerate the shift towards a more sustainable tourism sector by aligning policies, business operations and investments with the SDGs. The publication highlights the links between tourism and the SDGs and provides ...

  24. New Publication: Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals ...

    Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals - Journey to 2030 publication is now available online.. The report is developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and aims to build knowledge, empower and inspire tourism stakeholders to take necessary actions to accelerate the shift towards a more sustainable tourism sector by aligning policies, business ...

  25. Does awareness of SDGs influence tourists ...

    Purpose This study aims to examine a comprehensive model for the concurrent effects of tourists' sustainability concerns, social norms, frugality and awareness of the UN's sustainable development goals (SDGs) on sustainable travel behavior (STB), with sustainability in this case extending beyond the environmental to include economic and socio-cultural aspects as well.

  26. Does awareness of SDGs influence tourists' behavior? An examination of

    This study aims to examine a comprehensive model for the concurrent effects of tourists' sustainability concerns, social norms, frugality and awareness of the UN's sustainable development goals (SDGs) on sustainable travel behavior (STB), with sustainability in this case extending beyond the environmental to include economic and socio ...

  27. Goal 2: Zero Hunger

    Source: The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2023. Goal 2 Targets; 2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, ...

  28. Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals

    Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals. Published: September 2015 Pages: 2. eISBN: 978-92-844-1725-4. Abstract: Download this book (PDF 0.83MB)

  29. Launch of Grant Projects Platform for Sustainable Development in the

    Uzbekistan, 7 June 2024. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Investment, Industry, and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan is proud to announce the launch of the Monitoring Platform of the Grant Projects. This ceremony marking a significant step towards enhancing transparency and accountability in project implementation and coordination of grant ...

  30. Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals

    Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals. ISBN: 978-92-844-1725-4. share this content.