UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that tourism is a powerful driver for sustainable development.
“It contributes to the education and empowerment of women and youth and advances the socioeconomic and cultural development of communities. It plays a critical part in the social protection systems that form the foundation for resilience and prosperity,” he said in a message on the World Tourism Day to be celebrated today, Tuesday.
“World Tourism Day celebrates the power of tourism to foster inclusion, protect nature and promote cultural understanding,” said the UN chief.
“We must invest in clean and sustainable tourism, lowering the sector’s energy consumption, adopting zero-emission pathways and protecting biodiversity. We must create decent jobs and ensure profits benefit the host country and local communities. Governments, businesses and consumers must align their tourism practices with the Sustainable Development Goals and a 1.5°C future. The very survival of this industry and many tourist destinations, such as Small Island Developing States, depends on it.
“This year’s UN Ocean Conference, where the global community and the tourism sector committed to building a legally binding agreement on plastics pollution by 2024, represents an important first step.
“There is no time to waste. Let us rethink and reinvent tourism and together, deliver a more sustainable, prosperous and resilient future for all,” read the message.