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Beijing Declaration Passed at the First World Conference on Tourism for Development

The Beijing Declaration, with a focal point on “Tourism for Peace and Development,” was passed at the First World Conference on Tourism for Development in Beijing. Drafted by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the declaration aims to promote the sustainable development of the global tourism industry and fully implement the UN’s “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

According to UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai, the tourism industry is one of the fastest growing socioeconomic sectors, and contributes to about 10 percent of the global GDP, 1/11th of jobs created worldwide and 6 percent of global trade volume. The tourism industry can stimulate economic growth, create jobs, attract investment, improve the livelihood of local residents and encourage people to start businesses. As tourism has become an important means of sustainable development, now is the right time to adopt the Beijing Declaration.

The declaration consists of four parts. Part I reviews the consensus and achievements reached by the international community regarding tourism development in the past decades. Part II summarizes the role of the tourism industry in promoting global economic and social progress and world peace. Part III proposes the initiatives to drive forward global tourism development. Part IV stresses the responsibility of the tourism industry in implementing The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and promoting sustainable and inclusive development.

The Beijing Declaration promises to actively rely on the tourism industry to play its role in implementing The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in sectors that are relevant to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and acknowledge that the tourism industry is an importance means for peace and development. In addition, it also promises to include sustainable tourism into related policies, measures, programs and research projects to give tourism a bigger role in sustainable development and poverty reduction.

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