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Global travel bodies welcome International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017

February 10, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

The Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), which brings together the major global travel associations and organisations, welcomes the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 as an opportunity to underline the immense socio-economic opportunities brought by the sector to all societies, as well as its power to advocate for mutual understanding, peace and sustainable development worldwide.

GTAC consists of the major associations in the global Travel & Tourism sector, namely ACI, CLIA, IATA, ICAO, PATA, UNWTO WEF, and WTTC. It aims to promote a better understanding of Travel & Tourism’s role as a driver of economic growth and employment, and to ensure governments develop policies which contribute to the profitable, sustainable and long-term growth of the industry.

Speaking on behalf of GTAC, Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO, said:

“Every year, 1.2 billion people travel abroad. These, and the billions more who travel domestically, create a sector which contributes 10% of global GDP to the world’s economies and 1 in 11 jobs. Tourism has become a passport to prosperity, a driver of peace, and a transformative force for improving millions of lives.

United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said in his message on the occasion of the launch of the International Year held in Madrid, Spain, 18 January:

“The world can and must harness the power of tourism as we strive to carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include targets that relate to tourism: Goal 8 on promoting growth and decent work, Goal 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production, and Goal 14 on conserving marine resources. But tourism also cuts across so many different areas of life, and involves so many different economic sectors and socio-cultural currents, that it is connected to the entire Agenda. Beyond the measurable advances that tourism can make possible, it is also a bridge to better mutual understanding among people from all walks of life.

“Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (2017) is a crucial moment to make this important sector a force for good. Through 12 months of global actions, it will provide the opportunity for us all to promote our role as an engine of economic development, as a vehicle for sharing cultures, building mutual understanding and driving a more peaceful world.”

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