Published: 22 December 2015 at 15:02
Many of us would have read the recent exciting news from the United Nations General Secretary declaring 2017 as the 'International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development'.
International organisations particularly UNDESA, UNWTO and UNEP, Government Departments and many international experts worked on this intergovernmental proposal continuously since the Rio+20 summit.
Dr Vijay Reddy, the Deputy Head of the Department for Marketing, Enterprise and Tourism within our Lord Ashcroft International Business School, was certainly delighted to hear about this recent announcement by the United Nations. He was one of the few academicians invited along with representatives of international agencies and government departments for a high-level ‘Expert Group Meeting on Sustainable Tourism’ convened by UNDESA at the United Nations Secretariat in New York in October 2013. He acted as one of the rapporteurs for this expert meeting and the collective recommendations from key experts and influential organisations can be found here. Vijay recollected that one of the recommendations emanated from this meeting was to develop a proposal to launching consultative processes towards the declaration of 2017 as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
In light of the recent declaration, Vijay commented that “it is encouraging news for tourism stakeholders around the world. Well done to the international organisations particularly UNDESA, UNWTO and UNEP and some of the Government Departments who have worked hard for this successful news. I am glad that I was able to assist with others through one of the many expert group meetings convened by the United Nations”. Some of the Post-2015 sustainable tourism policy perspectives, Sustainable Development Goals and tourism targets were discussed in his recently edited book on 'Tourism in the Green Economy' (2015) endorsed by United Nations Division for Sustainable Development and others including the Tourism Unit of the European Commission.
Looking ahead, Professor Gary Packham, the Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Lord Ashcroft International Business School, said “we are excited to know about the declaration. Academic institutions, as one of the stakeholders, will play considerable role towards capacity building to implement sustainable tourism goals. Watch the space for initiatives from our tourism researchers”.