• Lead-organizer: World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
  • 11:00 - 12:30
  • Date: 20 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-4

Tourism for a Sustainable Future

Organizing partners

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Ministry of Tourism (Brazil), in cooperation with the UN Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD)*

* SCTD partners: UNWTO, together with ILO, ITC, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNCTD and WTO


In the face of global challenges, tourism has become a key instrument for eradicating poverty, responding to climate change, environmental sustainability and contributing to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Furthermore, the tourism sector has been identified within the Green Economy Initiative of the United Nations (UN) as one of the ten sectors which can lead in the transformation to the new social, economic and environmental model, while still addressing development challenges in all economies and nations toward a more sustainable path, with improved benefits and opportunities for humanity?s future while preserving its natural environment. Tourism for sustainable development can be the future, but clearly requires effective, coherent and coordinated government policies and actions, including in other sectors.

Detailed programme

This event, organised by UNWTO and the Ministry of Tourism of Brazil in cooperation with the Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD), will provide an opportunity for senior officials from select member countries, including academia, donor and development institutions to deliberate on the critical role that tourism can play in global development, while addressing the poverty gap.

Panellists will discuss the state of tourism, the main challenges it faces and the direction it should be heading in order grow sustainably and to contribute effectively to global development imperatives. The discussions will look at how tourism, while inter-linked to the seven (7) critical issues to be reviewed at the Rio+20 Conference ? jobs, energy, cities, food, water, oceans and disasters ? can be an instrument to drive positive change, both for developing and developed countries, and should be mainstreamed in the global development agenda for the next programming decade and beyond.

Cross sectoral activities ? such as sustainable tourism ? with a high positive impact on the three dimensions of sustainability for development and linkages, has been identified as a powerful engine for poverty reduction and development by most LDCs and SIDS as well as stimulating decent jobs and trade for all developing and developed countries. While tourism accounts for 5% of the world?s GDP, one in twelve jobs worldwide, 30% of the world?s services exports and is committed to protecting cultural and natural resources, it has a strong potential to contribute positively to the transformation towards a greener global economy.

* Note: a copy of the summary proposal will be sent to:, cc:
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