As the knowledge partner of India’s G20 Presidency, UNWTO delivered the Goa Roadmap for Tourism as a Vehicle for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at the meeting of the Ministers of Tourism of the world’s leading economies.
Halfway between the 2015 launch of the 2030 Agenda and the deadline to accomplish it, UNWTO called on G20 Tourism Ministers to lead the sector’s contribution to accelerating progress towards achieving the 17 SDGs.
The Goa Roadmap, developed with the Tourism Working Group, builds upon the five priority areas under India’s G20 Presidency.
The first is green tourism, which recognises the critical need to work towards climate action and environmental protection and related international cooperation. The roadmap incorporates recommended actions and good practices from G20 economies and guest countries on issues such as financing, sustainable infrastructure and resource management, integrating circular approaches in the tourism value chain and engaging visitors as key actors in sustainability.
Next is digitalisation – the roadmap makes clear the wide-ranging benefits of supporting businesses and destinations through digitalisation, including enhanced productivity, improved infrastructure management and delivering a safer and more efficient visitor experience.
It also emphasises on the need to provide tourism workers, particularly youth and women, with the skills employers need, to future-proof tourism jobs and to make the sector a more attractive career path.
With tourism MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) accounting for 80 per cent of all tourism businesses worldwide, the roadmap stressed the importance of public policies and public-private partnerships in addressing key challenges, including financing, marketing and skills gaps and market access to support MSMEs through the digital and sustainable transitions.
Lastly, the roadmap presents a set of proposed actions to create a holistic approach to destination management that strengthens public-private-community partnerships and enhances a whole of government approach. It further shares examples of innovative programmes among G20 and invited countries.
UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said: “As tourism bounces back close to pre-pandemic levels, we must ensure that recovery is sustainable, inclusive and resilient. The Goa Roadmap for Tourism as a Vehicle for Achieving the SDGs offers the G20 economies a proposed plan of action to lead the way forward towards a better future for all.”
“Tourism can be instrumental in addressing many of the challenges faced by our societies while transforming itself to address its socio-economic impacts. Working together on a common roadmap for recovery and long-term sustainability will unlock its immense potential to deliver on the SDGs,” added Shri G. Kishan Reddy, minister of tourism, culture and development of North Eastern Region, government of India.
UNWTO and the UN Environment Programme also hosted the side event Towards a circular economy of plastics in tourism – the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, in association with the Ministry of Tourism of India.
The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative provides a common vision for a circular economy of plastics in tourism. The side-event provided delegates and participants with practical guidance to address plastic pollution in tourism operations.
The Central Nodal Agency for Sustainable Tourism of India, a technical agency of the Ministry of Tourism, became a signatory of this initiative, together with the government of Punjab and the Responsible Tourism Society of India.