For some time now, sustainability has been the buzzword in development circles.
We have the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs that Pacific member countries of the UN have adopted and are working diligently towards. Recognising the potential of tourism to advance these, the United Nations General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, which was officially launched on January 18 in Madrid, Spain.
Three of the 17 SDGs relate to tourism: Goal 8 on promoting growth and decent work, Goal 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production, and Goal 14 on conserving marine resources. The International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behaviour towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute effectively to the SDGs, which will in turn benefit the Pacific region as well.