World Tourism Day puts focus on sustainability
Advocating the potential of sustainable tourism as a tool for development was one of the goals of this year’s World Tourism Day celebrations, which were conducted across the globe last month.
The Official Celebrations took place in Qatar on 27 September, and saw tourism ministers, industry entrepreneurs and researchers gather alongside other key drivers of the sector. The event was opened by the Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism of Qatar, H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, who emphasised the performance of Tourism and the links of the sector with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as well as its potential in economic diversification.
As stated by UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, “as we celebrate World Tourism Day 2017 the question is how we can enable the powerful global transformative force of tourism to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its five pillars: Economic, Social, Environmental, Cultural and Peace”.
Hassan Al Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer of Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), said: “Tourism has been recognised by our country’s leadership as a tool for sustainable development, and has been designated one of the priority sectors in the nation’s pursuit of economic diversification.
“We are particularly honoured to have been joined by high-level members of the international tourism community in Doha for the official celebration of World Tourism Day, which witnessed the launch of the Next Chapter of Qatar’s Tourism Sector Strategy. As we continue on this journey, we look forward to sharing our destination with more visitors, investors and tourism professionals.”
Helen Marrano, senior vice president of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), said: “For an industry that produces 10 per cent of global GDP and one in 10 jobs globally, it is crucial we protect the growth to be sustainable.
“This International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development should create a legacy based on three key aspects: better management to protect from impacts of T&T, continue working closely together as partners, not just UNWTO and WTTC, but private and public sectors across destinations and countries and to tell the stories, share the inspiration, keep talking about it.”