he 26th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government (La Antigua, Guatemala, 15-16 November) concluded with a high-level political declaration on sustainable development in which tourism plays a key supporting role. The commitment, which includes the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), marks the first time the tourism sector has been featured in a top-level multilateral cooperation agenda.
In the ‘La Antigua Action Programme for Ibero-American Cooperation’, the mandate from heads of state and government specifically calls on SEGIB to closely coordinate its future work around tourism with UNWTO. Both organizations are asked to collaborate on initiatives to promote sustainable tourism that can impact on development, partnering with key actors of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This accord is unprecedented for its inclusion of tourism in an international multilateral action plan for cooperation. The commitment includes tourism and the economy together as one issue area, urging states to prioritize public policies for developing and managing sustainable and responsible tourism to boost competitiveness.
A first contribution of UNWTO has been the publication “The Contribution of Tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals in Ibero-America“, produced on the occasion of the First Ibero-American Conference of Ministers of Economy and Tourism held in September, and leading up to Summit of Presidents and Heads of State.
This advance has the potential to give tourism a deservedly strong voice at the highest political and policy levels, adding value to economies and complementing UNWTO’s work with its members and partners across and beyond Ibero-American states.
About World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism”s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development. UNWTO generates market knowledge, promotes competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments, fosters tourism education and training, and works to make tourism an effective tool for development through technical assistance projects in over 100 countries around the world. UNWTO”s membership includes 156 countries, 6 Associate Members and over 400 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities. For more information visit www.unwto.org.