The UN General Assembly and the UNWTO have decided to dedicate 2017 to tourism’s contribution to sustainable and inclusive growth. We are therefore delighted to be celebrating 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development!
Tourism is increasingly and rightly being recognized as a sector that can help usher in a better world and we strongly believe every efforts on a local level (for us by promoting sustainable travel on the Camino and Northern Spain) can make a real difference which is why we will be promoting this month Sustainable Travel International’s and Travel Better’s material to improve tourism.
The goals of this Year of Sustainable Tourism
This commitment is attested to by the inclusion of tourism in the universal 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon by 193 nations in 2015.
2017 is a unique opportunity for the tourism industry to promote the contribution of tourism to achieving the future we want – and also to determine, together, the exact role tourism will play in the sustainable development agenda.
Tourism is a pillar of development for many countries and one of the world’s most important and impactful socio-economic sectors of our times. Tourism properly done has the power of changing the lives of millions of people around the world, to help preserve our common values and to promote greater understanding among people of all walks of life.
Tourism is a sector of hope. Not only is it one of the most resilient economic sectors, but it also unites people across backgrounds, cultures and continents every day. Through travel, we gain understanding, tolerance, and empathy for our fellow man – essential in the globalization era, where our global village can only prosper through harmonious living.
Together we can be the change we want to see.
Facts & Figures about Travel
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council:
- In 2015, Travel & Tourism in total contributed US$7.2 trillion to world GDP, representing 9.8% of global GDP.
- Travel and tourism supported 284 million jobs in 2015, or 1 in 11 jobs in the world.
- Travel & Tourism grew by 3.1% in 2015 – the 6th consecutive year of positive growth for the sector.
- The sector’s contribution to GDP is forecast to grow by 3.3% in 2016.
- Travel & Tourism will outperform the global economy throughout the next decade, growing by an expected 4% on average annually over the next ten years.
- Leisure travelers represent 71% of the U.S. adult population (175.5 million Americans). 60% of all leisure travelers (105.3 million Americans) have taken a “sustainable” trip in the last three years. They spend significantly more (on average $600 per trip), stay longer (seven days compared to four days), and are significantly more likely to make purchases from travel companies based on their sustainable practices. (The Role of Sustainability in Travel & Tourism, 2016 )
For more information on how to travel better and complimentary access to the Travel Better Certificate course check out our article about Universal Tips for Sustainable Travel