Tourism is today the 3rd largest export industry in the world after chemicals and fuels. It brings hope, prosperity and understanding to so many lives and livelihoods all over the world. Last year alone, 1.235 million travellers crossed international borders in one single year. By 2030, this 1.2 billion will become 1.8 billion.
The UN General Assembly declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This is a unique opportunity for all of us to come together to promote the contribution of travel and tourism as a grand 21st century human activity, to build a better future for people, planet, peace and prosperity.
The question, as we celebrate World Tourism Day 2017, is how we can enable this powerful global transformative force, these 1.8 billion opportunities, to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its 5 pillars:
1. Economic: yielding inclusive growth;
2. Social: bringing decent jobs and empowering communities;
3. Environmental: preserving and enriching the environment and addressing climate change;
4. Cultural: celebrating and preserving diversity, identity, and tangible and intangible culture,
5. Peace: as an essential prerequisite for development and progress.
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