The UN has affirmed that 2017 is International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and has set 17 goals as targets for sustainable tourism and development. Achieving these goals not only furthers growth, but improves the quality of life, protects the environment, champions cultural diversity and promotes global peace.
International Tourism is a relatively new industry that has grown exponentially. WHO estimates that over half a million people are in flight at any one moment adding up to 1.2 billion international tourist arrivals in 2016 alone.
Today, tourism generates 10% of the world’s GDP, 1 in every 10 jobs and 30% of world trade in services. It is key to the balance of payments and livelihoods in countries around the world.
But to be sustained International Tourism must be sustainable!
“Every growing human activity has a downside to it. The answer should never be to halt the activity, and lose all its clear benefits, but rather to live up to the challenge and manage it correctly. This is the real challenge.“ says Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Managed correctly international tourism can bring enormous benefits to local economies, often enabling them to develop new livelihoods that can benefit and protect the environment.
Use the hashtag #TRAVELENJOYRESPECT
Individuals, communities, cities and countries around the world are creating their own events to share in the celebration of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. See the Calendar of official 2017 events here.
Be a Responsible Traveler
What you can do!
International Tourism’s impact on the Ocean can be positive and sustainable!
Blue Ocean has documented many of the serious environmental challenges that are facing our oceans such as over-fishing, pollution, poor coastal management, mangrove destruction and coral reef degradation. We have also seen that International Tourism done sustainably can symbiotically work with the promotion of marine protected areas, eco-tourism resorts, sustainable coastal management and offer alternatives to uncontrolled fishing.
“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” Baba Dioum, 1968
Breaking News: Misool Marine Reserve Named a Mission Blue Hope Spot. Our congratulations go out to everyone that has worked so hard at the Misool Marine Reserve and Misool Ecotourism Resort in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, especially Marit and Andy Miners co-founders of the wonderful Misool experience.
by Laurie Wilson & Bob Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
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