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UN TourismIn a significant move toward a greener future, the United Nations General Assembly recently convened a pivotal thematic event, marking a considerable stride in the international commitment to sustainable tourism. This gathering, hosted during the celebrated Sustainability Week at the UN Headquarters, underscored tourism’s indispensable role in fostering global economic resilience and sustainable development.

The event, orchestrated by the President of the General Assembly in conjunction with UN Tourism, drew participation from various stakeholders, including member states, civil society organizations, and various UN agencies. This collective engagement reflects a heightened awareness and commitment to leveraging tourism as a transformative force for inclusive growth and environmental stewardship.

The assembly emphasized the critical need for the tourism sector to adopt a more sustainable and resilient approach in the wake of recent global challenges. “The lifeline of tourism must remain unbroken,” asserted UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. He highlighted the imperative of proactive measures to mitigate the factors contributing to crises such as biodiversity loss, climate change, and pandemics through unsustainable practices.

In his compelling address, His Excellency Dennis Francis, President of the General Assembly, articulated a vision for a global tourism industry deeply embedded in local economies. “We envision a sector that not only conserves heritage and biodiversity but also significantly contributes to climate-friendly livelihoods and local community prosperity,” Francis noted.

The event featured several key segments, including dynamic fireside chats and ministerial roundtables, where thought leaders and policymakers shared innovative strategies and best practices. Discussions focused on the Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism, aiming to align tourism development with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In an inspiring conclusion, President Francis reiterated the necessity of global cooperation and partnership to navigate the complexities of the tourism sector. He also affirmed the UN’s dedication to bolstering sustainable tourism as a catalyst for positive societal transformation.

Further solidifying its commitment, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution declaring 2027 the International Year of Sustainable and Resilient Tourism. This initiative calls for collaborative efforts among governments, UN agencies, and international entities to foster the implementation of sustainable practices throughout the tourism industry.

This assembly highlighted the urgent need for sustainable development within the tourism sector. It set a roadmap for future action to enrich local communities and preserve the global environmental heritage.




Written by: Octavia Koo