Journey to Rio+20

  "A journey of a thousand miles always begins with a first step"                                                                                                     Lao Tzu (600BC)

Following the recommendations of the Rio+20, UNWTO is coming together with UN sister agencies, government, private sector leaders and civil society to ensure that tourism remains firmly on the journey towards global sustainable development. 

Tourism's role in the global sustainable development agenda has been highlighted during two official Rio+20 Side Events, organized and co-organized by the UNWTO:


Placing Tourism at the heart of the transformation to a Green Economy

UNWTO - the UN specialized agency for sustainable tourism - has long been advancing tourism’s capacity to lift people out of poverty, while protecting the planet and ecosystems that support economic growth.

Since that time the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, the framework for the sustainable development of world tourism, the UNWTO Tourism Satellite Account, its work with Small Island Developing States and Ecotourism have all been included in the UN framework for development. 


Tourism in the global sustainable development agenda

Accounting for 5% of the world’s GDP, one in twelve jobs worldwide, 30% of the world’s services exports and committed to protecting cultural and natural resources, tourism contributes directly to each of the three pillars of sustainable development: Social development, Economic Growth and Environmental protection.

Tourism, a labour intensive sector, creates millions of jobs, attracts significant foreign revenue, investment and know-how, stimulates the local economy – with a knock-on effect on many other sectors – and plays a decisive role in the fight against poverty. It is also able to integrate economic, cultural and ecological concerns, by promoting policies that contribute to preserve the natural and cultural assets and generating increased revenues for conservation.

Recognition of tourism’s role in the global sustainable development agenda was made explicit in the Joint Programme of Implementation that emerged from the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development.






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