2017 has been declared as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for development by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), reflecting the strong commitment of the tourism sector to achieving the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), adopted by governments in 2015.
In the region, The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is working hard to ensure that tourism partners understand this commitment to sustainable tourism and are able to articulate what it means for them as partners in tourism development.
In an effort to bring about a clearer understanding of the SDGs and what it means for the region, SPTO will start a series of blogs this week to discuss the relevance of each goal to Pacific tourism.
According to UNWTO, Tourism has the potential to contribute directly or indirectly to all the SDG’s and is included as targets in Goals 8, 12 and 14 on inclusive and sustainable economic growth, sustainable consumption and production and the sustainable use of ocean and marine resources, respectively.
In the Pacific we can continue to work together to ensure that our tourism businesses are thriving; our land and ocean resources are managed well; our people benefit and our cultural values and traditions remain intact.
This week we will look at Goal 9 of the SDGs which aims to BUILD RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE, PROMOTE INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIALISATION AND FOSTER INNOVATION
Tourism development relies on good public and privately supplied infrastructure and an innovative environment. The sector can also incentivize national governments to upgrade their infrastructure and retrofit their industries, making them more sustainable, resource efficient and clean, as a means to attract tourists and other sources of foreign investment. This should also facilitate further sustainable industrialization, necessary for economic growth, development and innovation. (UNWTO)
Comprising of large ocean countries spread out in the vast Pacific waters, building resilient infrastructure is key to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the region. Tourism, being the main driver of economic development in the Pacific, has and will continue to stimulate growth and expansion of infrastructural development necessary for economic growth.
Integrated approaches to future development through information and resource sharing supported by concrete actions by the public and private sectors, will not only drive inclusive and sustainable development but increase innovation essential for tourism and wider investment in Pacific economies.