SUNBIZ

Sustainable Tourism Impact To Be Measured

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation is working on ways to measure tourism’s impact on sus­tainability. UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said this included a strong ‘Statistical Framework for Measuring Sus­tainable
19 Jun 2018 10:27
Sustainable Tourism Impact To Be Measured
From right: Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya, Speaker to Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Zurab Pololikashvili and Chairperson for UNWTO Asia and the Pacific Nia Niscaya with international delegates during the 30th United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Joint Commission Meeting for East Asia and the Pacific (CAP) and the UNWTO Commission for South Asia (CSA) at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, Nadi on June 18, 2018. Photo: Charles Chambers

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation is working on ways to measure tourism’s impact on sus­tainability.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said this included a strong ‘Statistical Framework for Measuring Sus­tainable Tourism’ in social, economic and environmental terms.

Mr Pololikashvili was speaking during the opening of 30th Joint Commission for joint East Asia and the Pacific-Com­mission for South Asia Meeting and Regional Seminar on Tourism, Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable De­velopment at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa yesterday.

Mr Pololikashvili said this included an International Net­work of Sustainable Tourism Observatories.

“We currently have 22 of these, including 15 in Asia and the Pacific and it includes a web platform which monitors how policies, business operations and investments are contribut­ing to the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Two of the Goals are specifically about taking action to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.

“Fiji has been at the forefront of the international climate change discussion.

“Last year, Fiji became the first Small Island Developing State to head theUnited Nations climate change conference.

“Fiji is also one of the most vulnerable states currently im­pacted by climate change and biodiversity loss.”

He said Fiji knew that this was a threat not just to the coun­try, but to the region.

“Tourism is here to help you.”

Mr Pololikashvili said the Asia-Pacific region witnessed 324 million arrivals and was the fastest-growing tourism region in the world.

“But we must not just grow more; we must also grow better.

“Like almost any human activity, tourism has an impact on naturalresources, but at the same time, it has great socio-economic relevance.

“It has the potential to make a meaningful difference to protection ofnatural resources and against climate change.

“I mean both in terms of raising awareness and taking real action. The new UNWTO vision has advancing sus­tainability through tourism as a key priority.”

He said was now collating evidence to take action and at the same time building the foundations for the next level of climate-friendly initiatives.

“Soon we will present an up-to-date estimate of global CO2 emissionsfrom tourism, including from transport.

“This evidence will help us to take action and raise aware­ness. People need to know they can and should take more sustainable andenvironmentally friendly actions.”

He said in Indonesia, the people have been encouraged to develop tourism products that preserved their local tradi­tions and identity.

“The priorities of UNWTO are shaped by listening and responding to your needs.”

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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