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UN hosts talk on Sustainable Tourism


The United Nations General Assembly convened a second thematic event centered on tourism and its vital role in advancing sustainable development and resilience. The event, organised by the President of the General Assembly in collaboration with UN Tourism, took place at the UN Headquarters as part of Sustainability Week. The gathering included Member States, Observers, civil society organizations, and UN agencies, showcasing a collective dedication to leveraging tourism’s transformative potential for inclusive and sustainable development.

As tourism’s impact on societies and economies continues to grow, so does the responsibility associated with it. The industry must not allow its lifeline to be disrupted again. Building resilience in tourism goes beyond planning and crisis response; it involves proactively addressing the root causes of these challenges. In his address to the General Assembly, UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili emphasised the need to tackle underlying issues such as unsustainable consumption, biodiversity loss, climate change, and emerging pandemics. He stressed the importance of adopting policies that promote transformative change.

The President of the General Assembly, His Excellency Dennis Francis, emphasised the need for a global tourism sector that is sustainable, with robust local value chains that drive demand for locally made products and services. Such a sector should positively impact local communities, contribute to biodiversity conservation, protect heritage, and support climate-friendly livelihoods.

High-Level Platform for Statistics-Led Strategy

The thematic event offered Member States an opportunity to share best practices, strategies, and innovative approaches for promoting sustainable and resilient tourism aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Key highlights included:

Fireside Chat: The Future of Tourism: Leaders from the tourism industry, academia, and civil society discussed the future of tourism and explored innovative solutions to address emerging challenges and opportunities.
Ministerial Roundtables: These discussions focused on launching the Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism and developing strategies to foster resilient tourism in the face of global challenges. Ministers and high-level officials exchanged insights and reaffirmed their commitment to advancing sustainable tourism practices and policies.
In closing, the President of the General Assembly emphasised the importance of collaboration and partnership in tackling the complex challenges facing the tourism sector and reaffirmed the UN’s dedication to supporting sustainable tourism as a catalyst for positive change.

In February, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution to declare 2027 as the International Year of Sustainable and Resilient Tourism. The resolution calls on UN Tourism to work with governments, UN agencies, and international organisations to implement the theme for the year.

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