General Travel News

UN agencies commit to make tourism work for development

Tourism is one of the top three sources of export earnings for nearly half of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and is a priority sector for their further integration in the global economy. The contribution  of tourism in advancing development was addressed during a Special Event on Tourism for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction organized by the recently created UN Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD), during a major UN conference on LDCs (Istanbul, Turkey, 10 May 2011).

The potential of tourism in contributing to lift people out of poverty is increasingly acknowledged and is supported by the growing relevance of the sector for poor countries. International tourist arrivals in the 48 LDCs grew from 6 million in 2000 to over 17 million in 2010. In the same period, international tourism receipts climbed from US$ 3 billion to over US$ 10 billion.

“Most LDCs are rich in resources. All have young and vibrant populations. These men and women need decent jobs, education, training, so they can make the most of their country’s assets - minerals and other commodities, farmland, rich stores of biodiversity and tourism potential”, said UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, opening the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV).

“UNWTO is extremely pleased to have tourism playing an active role for the first time in such an important event as LDC-IV”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “In spite of tourism’s proven contribution to foreign exchange generation, job creation and socio-economic development, low priority has so far been assigned to the sector in the development agenda. This is particularly surprising given that tourism has been clearly identified by developing countries themselves as a priority for their economic advancement”, he added.

In his remarks, the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Supachai Panitchpakdi, emphasized the critical importance of quality in the development of a competitive tourism sector in LDCs, including the quality of investment, infrastructure and human resources. “The LDCs should aim at the quality segment in the global value chain and, as the Maldives successfully demonstrated, focus on excellence in the tourism product”, said Mr. Panitchpakdi.

Tourism for development

The Special Event on Tourism for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction brought together representatives from LDCs, including 15 Ministers of Tourism, various UN agencies and donor countries to debate the contribution of tourism to sustainable development. The gathering, which is the first public appearance of the UN Steering Committee on Tourism for Development, reflects the increasing relevance of tourism in the development agenda and represents a clear commitment of the UN system in making tourism work for development.

The Committee outlined the support and technical cooperation that can be provided to LDCs by the UN agencies and programmes on an individual and joint basis. The Services are built around four pillars: building good governance and sustainability in tourism development; promoting investment in the tourism economy; fostering the poverty reduction impact of tourism; and encouraging human resources development, and will contribute to the preservation and safeguarding of natural and cultural assets that form the basis of tourism in LDCs.

The event was hosted by the UNWTO Secretary-General on behalf of the Committee, together with the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, Ertugrul Günay. The debate session was moderated by BBC World News anchor, David Eades.

More General Travel News
Swiss Belhotel to open 4 new hotels in the GCC
Abu Dhabi and Wizz Air announce establishment of new low cost airline
Emirates touches down in Mexico City
Latest Travel News
Abu Dhabi and Wizz Air announce establis...
Emirates touches down in Mexico City...
Air Arabia named as Middle East and Afr...
Featured Sights To See
Cave of the Seven Sleepers

Cave of the Seven Sleepers

Amman, Jordan

In the year 250AD, Christians throughout the Roman empire were being persecuted.  According to legend, seven men were accused of accepting Christianity.  Rather than fighting the charges, they donated all their worldly possessions and retreated to a cave to pray.  The men fell asleep, and Roman authorities sealed the entrance. Two hundred years later, long after Christianity be...

Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands)

Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands)

Jakarta, Indonesia

Located north of Jakarta in the Java Sea, these stunning Kepulauan Seribu are easily accessible by speed boat from the Ancol marina. These 300 or so islands offer to an escape from the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan city.  ...

Beirut Balloon

Beirut Balloon

Beirut, Lebanon

Children are sure to love a ride on this helium filled balloon. This 30 passenger balloon, offers breathtaking views of the city from an altitude of 300m. Location:Allenby Street Downtown,Beirut                 (entrance is  through Biel Convention Center) Tel: +961 1 985901 Timings: Daily 10 am t...

Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC)

Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC)

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club was inaugurated in 1993 to form a firm organizational ground for powerboat racing in Abu Dhabi. ADIMSC is the backbone of Powerboat racing in conjunction with DIMC in the U.A.E and Gulf region en bloc. It has been chosen as a National Authority of the UAE Marine Sports Federation and presently is a certified member of Union International Motonautique....