Sustainability, key among tourism policies

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Sustainability, key among tourism policies
Wed June 05, 2019

Countries around the world are integrating sustainability into their tourism policies, but the evidence on the results of their implementation remains limited

A Reference Report prepared by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with the United Nations Environment (Environment of the United Nations) and with the support of the Government of France, is the first global evaluation of the sustainable consumption and production factors (SCP) within national tourism policies. A total of 101 UNWTO Member States participated in this innovative exercise.

All the tourism policies analyzed refer to sustainability as part of their objectives or vision and 55% address sustainability as a transversal element. At the same time, 67% of tourism policies include references to the efficiency of resources and 64% connect sustainability with the competitiveness of the sector. Those responsible for tourism policy are aware of the importance of CPS, but references to policy instruments that point to the implementation of CPS are limited, as is the evidence available for other aspects beyond the economic performance of the sector.

Celebrating the publication of the Reference Report, the UNWTO Secretary General, Zurab Pololikashvili, says: "Sustainability and competitiveness go hand in hand. Destinations and businesses can thrive while making a significant contribution to sustainability in several ways, including through the efficient use of resources, promoting biodiversity conservation and taking action to combat climate change. "

The advancement of SCP practices in the tourism sector is essential for the sector to contribute effectively to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda. With this in mind, UNWTO has also launched the talks on sustainable tourism policies together with the reference report. The series of talks includes interviews with tourism ministers on the implementation of national tourism policies.

One Planet Sustainable Tourism Program
The Sustainable Tourism Program aims to expand SCP practices that encourage the efficient use of natural resources in tourism, while producing less waste and addressing the challenges of climate change and biodiversity.
UNWTO is the leader of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Program with the Government of France as Co-Lead and in collaboration with the United Nations Environment.
The program acts as an implementation mechanism for SDG12 and the baseline Report and Conversations on sustainable tourism policies directly contribute to the implementation of One Planet objectives.


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