Today is World Tourism Day!
This year World Tourism Day will celebrate the day around the theme of Water and Future, protecting our Common Future. As Taleb Rifai, UN Secretary-General of UNWTO-United Nations World Tourism Organization, claims “Tourism is today one the largest economic sectors in the world, and Water is the most valuable human asset, resource and main essence of Tourism”.
Water and Tourism go hand in hand. Water powers all tourism industries, from hotels to restaurants, leisure activities and transport. The tourism sector must take a leadership role to ensure companies and destinations invest in adequate water management through the value chain. If managed sustainably, tourism can bring benefits to the national and local communities and support water preservation. UNWTO asks for innovative solutions to ensuring tourism contributes to sustainable access to water resources worldwide. Unless tourism industry does so, the quantity and quality of available freshwater will continue to drain, threatening the delicate ecosystems enjoyed by all, tourism included.
UNWTO provides interesting publications on sustainability, water management performances, and green economy. We suggest the report Tourism in the Green Economy, jointly published by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)- First printing: 2012 Spain.
The report makes an economic case for investing in the greening of tourism and provides guidance on how to mobilize such investments. The objective is to motivate policy makers to support increased investments in greening the sector. Green tourism has the potential to create new, green jobs. Travel and tourism are human resource intensive, employing directly and indirectly 8% of the global workforce.
The report also presents recommendations to create the enabling environment for increased investment in sustainable tourism development, overcoming barriers in areas of private sector orientation, destination planning and development, fiscal and government policies, finance and investment and local investment generation . In addition, it illustrates regional case studies which draw on the experiences from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America and which show some of the key messages identified in the preceding chapters of the report. It concludes with a chapter that communicates a strong and convincing economic case for greening the tourism sector. This is intended to help governments to target tourism and travel in their policy and/or stimulus measures.
Enjoy the reading!