The UNWTO has called for higher support for tourism in international development financing so as to maximize the sector´s contribution to sustainable development. Speaking at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia between 13-16 July, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai recalled that tourism has been identified by half of the world´s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as a priority instrument for poverty reduction.
“For an increasing number of developing countries tourism means jobs, poverty eradication, community development, and the protection of natural and cultural heritage. Yet, in order to maximize tourism’s contribution to the development objectives, it is critical to address the disparity between the sector´s capacity to foster development and the low priority it has been given so far in terms of financial support in the development cooperation agenda”, said Mr. Rifai.
- Despite accounting for 6% of total world trade, tourism receives only 0.78% of the total Aid for Trade (AfT) disbursements and 0.097% of the total Official Development Assistance (ODA).
- In 2014, emerging and developing countries received 513 million international tourists or 45% of all international tourist arrivals in the world as compared to 38% in 2000. UNWTO forecasts this share to surpass that of advanced economies in the coming years and to reach 57% by 2030.
- In 2013, the 49 so called Least Developed Countries (LDC) received 24 million international overnight visitors and earned US$ 18 billion from international tourism. This represented 8% of total exports of goods and services of LDCs, and 12% for the non-oil exporters among them.
- Tourism was a significant reason Botswana, The Maldives and Cabo Verde are no longer considered LDCs.
- Tourism is identified by half of the world´s LDCs as a priority instrument for poverty reduction.
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- Download the UNEP report Tourism in the Green Economy.