Sustainable Development Goals are a Cluster of 17 Selected Goals that were Adopted in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly which needed to be achieved by 2030 to create a World full of peace, balance and Sustainable Development and in this World, Tourism is one of the blooming Sector in the Era of globalisation and have a significant contribution in the world economy.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Tourism sector has a 10.4% share in the World GDP In 2019. Even the United Nations General Assembly declared the year of 2017 as the international year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and 27 September as World Tourism Day which shows the Importance and Significance of Tourism in the World. And if we talk about the concept Of Sustainable Tourism, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) defines Sustainable Tourism as “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the need of visitors, the industry, the environment and the host communities”. Sustainable Tourism is connected not only with Goal 8 of Agenda 2030, Promote Sustained, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth, Full Productive Employment and Decent Work for All, but also with Goal 12, Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production, and Goal 17, Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for Sustainable Development. We can promote Sustainable Tourism by making and implementing proper policies.
How tourism promotes culture & creates jobs?
If Tourism, one of the rapidly growing industries, is managed by proper Policies, it becomes one of the major sources of job creation, especially in developing countries. Tourism creates jobs for local people and gives opportunities to small businesses and entrepreneurs to expand. It also allows developing countries to participate in global trade and economy which promotes goal 10 of agenda 2030 to reduce Inequalities among Countries. Tourism also reduces Gender Inequalities by providing jobs to local women. As Tourism expands in an area, jobs opportunities for local people expands. Even in the Paris Peace Forum 2020, Weaving the Recovery – Indigenous women in Tourism, They get a chance to expand their small businesses as well as get jobs opportunities in tourist companies. As new jobs get created and local people get employed, it becomes a source of income generation for local peoples which will ultimately reduce poverty in that area, which will fulfil goal 1 of Agenda 2030. This shows that tourism is directly or indirectly connected to all 17 sustainable development goals. As tourism creates jobs it also promotes the culture of the host country. The new concept that is coming into the trend is cultural tourism in which the main motive of the tourist is to understand the culture of the tourist destination. Cultural heritage, monuments etc in the host country are the main attraction for the tourist in cultural tourism but proper strategy is needed to implement to protect monuments and heritage sites in that country so that it can promote the idea of sustainable tourism. Cultural tourism benefits both local people by becoming earning source for them as well as tourists who get to know about the culture and tradition of others by visiting their heritage sites and monuments. So eventually, we can say that if tourism is managed with proper policies, it can promote culture and create jobs for the people. This sector has the strength to contribute to sustainable development if managed responsibly.
Where the challenge comes?
Tourism promotes culture as well as create jobs for the local people. So now where the challenge comes in it. The Challenge comes here when Tourism is not managed with planned policies. It can adversely affect the local communities and culture as well as the Environment. As of today, we all are fighting with a pandemic, if in this situation tourism and tourist are not managed properly, it can increase the spread of coronavirus, and the situation can become worse. The tourism Sector has the Capacity to contribute to Sustainable Development but it is undermined by its negative effects such as Global Warming, Loss of Biodiversity, climate change and many others. It can also harm the local culture of the host country as well as the heritage, if not handled with proper strategy. Tourism also results in deforestation in far off places to make them suitable for tourist and it also disturb the lifestyle of local people and sometime results in the displacement of these people. For example, Maasai Tribes in Tanzania faced this problem of displacement. They had to displace from their area because construction was going to make the area suitable and comfortable for tourism and tourist which disturb their livelihood and lifestyle. Tourism also led to an increase in greenhouse gases, depletion of local resources, increase in pollution which harms our environment as well as our health.
In what way we can encounter with this challenge?
All the challenges that we discussed above can be solved If we build appropriate and devise policies with proper to manage the sector of tourism. It is our shared responsibility to reduce the negative effects of tourism and to promote the concept of sustainable tourism. Financing tourism is the key to the sustainable development goals’ s success, especially in developing countries. Financing and investment in tourism can help in transiting to tourism with less depletion of resources, release of greenhouse gases emissions and pollution. A small improvement towards sustainable tourism can lead to big impacts. We have to work together to minimise the negative impacts of tourism.
Tourism, which is one of the biggest growing industries today, led to interaction among people from different cultures, countries and backgrounds which promotes values like unity, brotherhood and humanity which has been frequently ignored. It also benefits developing countries who get a chance to participate in world competition due to tourism. It creates job opportunities for the local people as well. So, we can conclude that tourism has the strength to contribute to sustainable development if it is managed with proper policies. That’s why it is one of the 17 selected goals of agenda 2030 which are needed to be achieved by 2030. But what the situation of the sector today is not enough, We have to do much more to make this sector more sustainable to achieve our target of Sustainable Development.