Sustainable tourism, a path to prosperity and inclusion

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Sustainable tourism, a path to prosperity and inclusion
Source: Twitter @UNWTO
December 13, 2021

A report presented by FAO and UNWTO highlights how the sector can serve as an important driver of socio-economic development in mountain areas


Sustainable tourism plays a key role in boosting livelihoods, alleviating poverty and conserving the environment in mountainous areas, according to a new report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (FAO) and the UNWTO in an event to celebrate the International Day of Mountains 2021.

Mountain Tourism - Towards a more sustainable path, jointly developed by FAO, the Mountain Alliance Secretariat and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), highlights the role of tourism in the sustainable development of regions mountainous. The publication presents examples of innovation, best practices and initiatives from around the world, as well as practical guidelines and recommendations in the context of better rebuilding for sustainable mountain tourism.

Sustainable tourism can serve as an important driver of socio-economic development in mountain areas.

"For many mountain communities, tourism is their livelihood," stressed FAO Director-General QU Dongyu at the event. "Promoting sustainable ecotourism, agritourism and wellness tourism can help create new jobs, diversify income, build strong microeconomies and revitalize products and services," he added, encouraging everyone to work together to protect fragile mountain ecosystems. and "rethinking and reshaping mountain tourism for the benefit of mountain communities, global well-being and the health of the planet."

“Sustainable tourism can serve as an important driver of socio-economic development in mountainous areas. Well-managed community tourism increases and diversifies family incomes, improves employment opportunities and livelihoods, supports traditional systems, builds resilience, and helps conserve and promote natural and cultural heritage in all landscapes, ”said the Secretary-General. from the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili.

The theme of International Mountain Day 2021
The United Nations has designated December 11 as International Mountain Day, with FAO as the lead agency for its coordination. Held every year, it raises awareness of the importance of mountains to life, highlighting opportunities and constraints in mountain development and creating partnerships that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world.

As mountain destinations attract around 15-20 percent of world tourism, the Sustainable Mountain Tourism theme of International Mountain Day 2021 recognizes the role of the sector in valuing the natural and cultural heritage of mountains and mountains. mountain peoples, promoting sustainable food systems and protecting mountain ecosystems and their biodiversity.

The theme of the Year also draws attention to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it can be an opportunity to rebuild mountain tourism in a greener, more sustainable and inclusive way. This means ensuring community empowerment, effective measurement of the impact of tourism in mountains, effective management of resources and waste, and definition of carrying capacity for destinations.

Un esfuerzo conjunto
El evento de alto nivel del Día Internacional de las Montañas de hoy fue inaugurado por el Director General de la FAO, QU Dongyu, y el Secretario General de la OMT, Zurab Pololikashvili. Otros participantes incluyeron a Maria Ubach, Ministra de Asuntos Exteriores de Andorra, Christine Bulliard-Marbach
Parlamentario suizo, Miembro del Consejo Nacional y Presidente de la Asociación Suiza para las Regiones Montañosas, Roberto Natali, Ministro Plenipotenciario y Dirección General de Cooperación al Desarrollo del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Italia, Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, Directora de Operaciones de Turismo de Filipinas Promotions Board y alpinista Reinhold Messner. La Directora General Adjunta de la FAO, Maria Helena Semedo, pronunció las observaciones finales. Stella Jean, diseñadora de moda italo-haitiana, fue nombrada Embajadora de Buena Voluntad de la Alianza para las Montañas en reconocimiento a su trabajo con las artesanas de las montañas de Kirguistán. Dilshodbegim Khusravova, una joven activista tayika, fue nombrada Embajadora de Buena Voluntad de la Alianza Juvenil para las Montañas por su trabajo en los sistemas de alerta temprana de prevención de desastres en las montañas de Tayikistán.

The event highlighted the need to promote dialogue and cooperation to harness the full potential of mountain tourism to contribute to sustainable development. He highlighted the work that many members of the Mountain Partnership and UNWTO member states are doing to ensure that mountain communities are not left behind in the spirit of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable best practices
According to the study, sustainable mountain tourism products and services should move from high-impact to low-impact, climate-sensitive tourism and create new opportunities, bringing tangible benefits to local communities, at the same time that helped to
enhance the conservation of unique mountain heritage. They should also be inclusive, providing good quality employment and decent work. The publication highlights projects from around the world that are doing just that, including the Cordillera region of the Philippines, where the country's Department of Tourism, the Mountain Alliance Secretariat and Slow Food are connecting tourism service providers. with small producers so that visitors can discover high-quality mountain products and 'astrostays' in the Himalayas, which are homestays provided by local communities that include stargazing activities.

FAO and UNWTO
FAO and UNWTO have a long history of working together, driven by a recent Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties. This establishes a greater commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, driving sustainable development, and strengthening livelihoods through rural tourism, agritourism, nature tourism, outdoor activities, and other forms of landscape tourism. It includes, among others, collaborative activities within the framework of FAO's Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), the Fragile Ecosystems Coalition and the Green Cities Initiative. 

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