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UN agencies commit to make tourism work for development

The first first public appearance of the UN Steering Committee on Tourism for Development took place in Turkey today.

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.

The UN Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD) builds on
the UN commitment to ?Delivering as One? and will ensure the delivery of more
effective and coordinated technical assistance in order to make tourism work for
development.

 

Members of the SCTD: International Labour Organization (ILO),
International Trade Centre (ITC), UN Conference on Trade and Development
(UNCTAD), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Industrial
Development Organization (UNIDO), World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), World
Trade Organization (WTO).

Joint Tourism Special Event: Promoting Tourism for Sustainable
Development and Poverty Reduction: http://www2.unwto.org/en/event/promoting-tourism-sustainable-development-and-poverty-reduction

 

World Export Development Forum: Private Sector Engagement with LDCs
for Tourism-led Growth and Inclusive Sustainable Development: http://www.intracen.org/wedf/

 

UN comes together to promote tourism for development: http://www2.unwto.org/en/press-release/2011-04-07/un-comes-together-promote-tourism-development

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