Sustainable and responsible tourism driving development in Africa

The United Nations has declared 2017 as "International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development", with the official launch by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on January 18 in Madrid.

On this occasion, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai put the continued growth of tourism into figures: “In 2016, more than 1.2 billion people travelled around the world for tourism purposes and another 6 billion people travelled domestically,” he said, highlighting the need to promote more sustainable tourism.

“Tourism has become a pillar of economies, a passport to prosperity, and a transformative force for improving millions of lives. The world can and must harness the power of tourism as we strive to carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

“In parallel with the growth of the sector, there is also increased responsibility to advance towards greater sustainability, equity, inclusiveness and peace in our societies,” added Rifai.

This will consist of promoting tourism that is respectful of the environment – to preserve countries' resources and natural wealth – and of the people, who stimulate the economy, creating jobs and income and, thus, the development of countries and their populations.

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Source: Travel Daily News