Tourism is one of the driving forces of global economic growth, and currently provides for 1 in 11 jobs worldwide. By giving access to decent work opportunities in the tourism sector, society particularly youth and women, can benefit from increased skills and professional development. The sector’s contribution to job creation is reflected in Target 8.9 ‘’By 2030 devise and implement policies that contribute to sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products” (UNWTO).
As a sector that requires substantial energy input, tourism can accelerate the shift toward renewable energy and increase its share in the global energy mix. Consequently, by promoting sound and long-term investments in sustainable energy sources, tourism can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate change and contribute to innovative and new energy solutions in urban, regional and remote areas. (UNWTO)
Tourism can play a critical role in achieving water access and security, as well as hygiene and sanitation for all. The efficient use of water in the tourism sector coupled with appropriate safety measures, waste water management, pollution control and technology efficiency can be key to safe guarding our most precious resource. (UNWTO)
The Asian Development Bank has given its approval for the creation of a new Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility, which will provide financial support to a series of renewable energy projects and sector reforms across Pacific island countries.
Tourism provides an opportunity to empower Pacific people through improved access to quality education and vocational training. The future of tourism in the Pacific hinges on the ability of our Pacific island countries to deliver quality services that exceed visitors’ expectations. Tourism therefore requires a skilled, well-trained and motivated workforce to bridge the gap between industry demand for qualified and skilled staff and what is available locally.
Healthy lives and well- being can be linked directly to tourism in many different ways.
Household income from tourism has helped to improve access to better health care and enhance the well-being of Pacific people.
2017 has been declared as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for development by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), reflecting the strong commitment of the tourism sector to achieving the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), adopted by governments in 2015.