- Sustainable Tourism
Background of the event
The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest, very powerful wake-up call about the links between environment, economy and human wellbeing. The tourism sector is one of those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. How to rebuild tourism so that it supports the shift towards more resilient and sustainable communities?
With this question in mind, UNEP brought together more than 350 participants from the wider European region and other parts of the world to discuss how to build back greener by applying principles of circularity, digitalization, innovation and cooperation. Tourism experts, representatives of European governments, tourism institutions and international organisations, NGOs, as well as academia shared their ideas and experiences on opportunities and challenges for a more sustainable tourism industry in a post-COVID scenario. The event provided an overview of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector and examples of aligning recovery plans and investments with a transition that meets the objectives of health and safety, sustainability, climate action and biodiversity protection. The speakers highlighted the importance of policy coherence and public-private partnerships, as well as innovation through digital transformation. Many solutions are available and can be efficiently used through close collaboration and coordination among destinations, businesses, the local communities, visitors, policy makers, as well as investors.
Watch the recording in English or in Russian
The 56 member countries of the CEP collaborate towards the organization of the next ‘Environment for Europe’ ministerial conference, to be held in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 5-7 October in 2022. The conference will focus on two topics: Sustainable infrastructure and Sustainable tourism. In the lead-up to the conference, UNEP, UNECE, OECD and other partners will facilitate countries’ policy dialogue towards commitments and actions on sustainable infrastructure and sustainable tourism. Both topics are essential to sustainable consumption and production. As the custodian agency of the SDG 12 on ‘Ensuring sustainable consumption, and production patterns’, UNEP develops, promotes and scales up policies and practices that boost the efficient use of natural resources while producing less waste and addressing the challenges of climate change and biodiversity. In a world that still continues to use natural resources unsustainably, the current COVID-19 crisis offers an opportunity to develop tourism policies and practices that promote resource efficiency, sustainable production and consumption patterns, sustainable infrastructure, and creating green and decent jobs.
Quotes from speakers
Documents and resources available
- UNEP, Leveraging sustainable procurement throught tousim (including 16 case studies)
- UNEP, Country national roadmaps and action plans on low carbon and sustainable tourism
- French Ministry of the Ecological Transition, France Relance Programme
- IPBES, Escaping the Era of Pandemics
- Sustainable Event Alliance, Global best practices guidelines: reusables hygiene at events
- Business Finland - Sustainable Travel Finland Programme
- World Economic Forum, How much plastic is in the ocean
- Planet Happiness
- European Wilderness Society, Respect Nature Initiative
Video - Transforming tourism for a reslient and sustainable post COVID world