UNWTO and China organize First World Conference on Tourism for Development
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Government of the People’s Republic of China are organizing the First World Conference on Tourism for Development in Beijing on 18-21 May 2016. Under the theme “Tourism for Peace and Development”, the event aims to kick start a high level debate on the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We asked UNWTO Secretary- General Taleb Rifai why this event is so remarkable.
It is highly remarkable that for the first time, a worldwide event involving high-level officials is focusing on tourism for development, a field that UNWTO has been pushing forward for the last decades. Today, it is evident that tourism is an engine for the development of all nations, developed and developing ones, that it creates jobs and inclusion and that it contributes to raising public awareness about global concerns such as environment preservation. This Conference we are organizing in Beijing in cooperation with the Government of China will bring together world leaders to discuss on these roles of the tourism sector, so it is a unique and unprecedented opportunity. Furthermore, this event comes in a highly relevant momentum, as 2017 has been recently declared by the UN General Assembly as the International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development, a great occasion that all the tourism and non-tourism community should celebrate globally! We believe that this type of event helps to create awareness but also to advocate tourism for development as a policy strategy for countries.