In three of their 169 targets, the United Nations’ proposed Sustainable Development Goals address sustainable tourism — behind which is a strategic yet little discussed effort to promote development from within a given locale. Although the General Assembly has in the past recognized the value of sustainable tourism as a tool to eradicate poverty, this is the first time specific objectives have been attached to it.
So what difference will this make?
- The targets that relate to sustainable tourism pinpoint job creation, promotion of local culture, evaluation of the impact of sustainable tourism and improvement in the effective use of marine resources.
- World Travel and Tourism Council data shows that global contribution from travel and tourism to the world’s GDP was $7.6 billion, or 9.8 percent of the total, in 2014. It is expected to rise by 3.7 percent in 2015.
- Marie-Danielle Samuel, co-founder of Yachay Wasi, a Peruvian-focused NGO, said that indigenous peoples and local communities are largely left out of the document — which hinders attempts to properly define sustainable tourism.