A Growing Role for Tourism in Sustainable Development

15 March 2011

The following excerpt is from an article published on DailyFinance, by Tonya Mohn, on the increasingly visible role tourism plays in sustainable development:

Think of environmentally friendly businesses, and you probably think of things like solar power, green building and recycling. But according to a report released last week by the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP), one of the most promising green industries -- at least when it comes to creating economic growth, reducing poverty, fueling job creation and addressing major environmental challenges -- turns out to be sustainable tourism.

It's an interesting conclusion because tourism isn't generally considered green. But the U.N. report, titled "Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication," finds that investing in sustainable tourism could play a big role in creating a green economy. The findings of the report -- which includes contributions from the U.N.'s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), an agency that promotes sustainable tourism development, and economists and experts worldwide -- were presented to environmental ministers from more than 100 countries last week in Nairobi, Kenya.

"This is a landmark report. Advancing the sustainable agenda in tourism will allow the sector to strengthen its capacity to continue generating growth and creating jobs worldwide," UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said in a statement. "The conclusions of this report corroborate what we at UNWTO have long been advocating for -- that the tourism sector can be a lead change agent in the transformation to the green economy."

To read the analysis of the points made in the UNEP report, please see full article from DailyFinance