UNESCO Joins Launch of International Year of Sustainable Tourism 2017
The United Nations has proclaimed 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, in recognition of the tremendous potential of the tourism industry, which accounts for some 10% of the world’s economic activity, to contribute to the fight against poverty and foster mutual understanding and intercultural dialogue, which are at the heart of UNESCO’s mission.
Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the UNWTO, underscored international tourism’s potential for positive change, prosperity and wellbeing for all. “As our sector continues to grow, so does its responsibility to propel us into a future of sustainability, equity, inclusion and peace,” he said. “With over 1.2 billion people now crossing international borders each year, tourism represents a golden opportunity to break down the barriers of ignorance and prejudices,” states Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova in her message for the International Year.