UNWTO sees tourism as vehicle to lift people out of poverty

NAR: 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.

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.

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, opening the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries said "most LDCs are rich in resources. All have young and vibrant populations. He said "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".

And Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, of the UN World Tourism Organization said the "UNWTO is extremely pleased to have tourism playing an active role for the first time in such an important event as LDC-IV".

He said "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. He added that "this is particularly surprising given that tourism has been clearly identified by developing countries themselves as a priority for their economic advancement".

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 1’52″

Filed under Caribbean News, LDC IV.
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November 2017
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