4 December 2013

UNESCO and UNWTO work together to promote sustainable tourism

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) are collaborating to promote sustainable tourism and protect heritage sites.

The two agencies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which will address the safeguarding of natural and cultural heritage and combine efforts on national, regional and global initiatives in the area of sustainable tourism.

UNWTO and UNESCO have already been working closely together to ensure a sustainable approach to tourism and heritage management and the MoU will further strengthen this collaboration and strengthen the ability to integrate sustainable tourism principles with protecting the word’s heritage.

UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai stresses the significant role tourism can play in preserving and promoting cultural and natural assets and at the start of 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognised sustainable tourism as hugely significant in addressing poverty and environmental issues. In addition they said that responsible tourism could also have a positive impact on income generation, job creation and education.

The aims of the MoU between the two organisations will be achieved through the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme and promoting sustainable tourism through UN partnerships and initiatives.

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