The UN has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

As one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors in the world, tourism can stimulate economic growth, create decent jobs and business opportunities, help preserve ecosystems and biodiversity, contribute to protecting cultural heritage, and support the peace-building process.

The United Nations World Trade Organisation (UNWTO) has been mandated to facilitate the organisation and implementation of the International Year.

United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

GIFT and the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

To realise tourism's potential and minimise negative impacts, knowledge is required to make better decisions. The Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT), as one of leading tourism research institutes globally, is pleased to be able to contribute to the International Year. Our research contributes to all key areas, identified as important to enhancing tourism's contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

2017 International Year themes

  • Inclusive and sustainable economic growth
  • Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction
  • Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change
  • Cultural values, diversity and heritage
  • Mutual understanding, peace and security

Corresponding GIFT contribution

Global Sustainable Tourism Dashboard

The Global Sustainable Tourism Dashboard tracks global progress towards sustainable tourism development. It is  designed to complement efforts to promote sustainable development. Indicator selection was informed by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as other initiatives and programmes. Indicators were mostly derived from existing data sources, but are presented in a way that provides important and new insights.

Managing growth for sustainable tourism

In collaboration with the UNWTO, GIFT is working on a book that compiles insights and case studies to understand what tourism growth means for nations, communities and the environment, and how it needs to be managed to avoid negative impacts. The book will be published by the end of 2017.

Sustainable tourism for regional growth training

GIFT develops and conducts training programs for Indonesian tourism managers for the Australia Awards Indonesia Program. The program targets government and business leaders from emerging tourism destinations across Eastern Indonesia. A wide range of topics around planning, marketing, operations and impacts of tourism are discussed including women’s empowerment; pro-poor tourism; minimising tourism impacts and waste; use of traditional knowledge; waste management; education and training; and improving marketing and planning for tourism.

Economic modelling - capacity building

At the international level, GIFT is collaborating with Tourism Research Australia, supported by the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to provide strategic assistance to the Bhutanese Government on the development of the Bhutanese Tourism Satellite Accounts.

Tourism and climate change in the Pacific

As part of a large research program on ecosystem based adaptation to climate change, new knowledge is being generated on how tourism can support a broad mix of climate adaptation measures in ecologically sensitive environments. The project also assesses the socio-economic benefits of different adaptation options.

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