United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as 10YFP Secretariat and the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conducted a Global Survey on Sustainable Tourism in the period of three months – August to October. The participation rate was outstanding, with over 370 responses from tourism stakeholders, representing Governments (40%), Businesses (30%), NGOs (20%), and other stakeholders from all regions. The 92nd Session of the OECD Tourism Committee was held in Paris, on 1st and 2nd October 2013, where the preliminary findings were presented and most recently at the UN Expert Group Meeting on Ecotourism, Poverty Reduction and Environmental Protection (29-30 October 2013, New York).
The main barriers to sustainable tourism cited as “Underlying Causes” for all regions, including Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Asia Pacific were found to be as follows:
- Low levels of understanding of “sustainable tourism” and the business case
- Lack of an integrated approach to tourism planning and investment
- SMEs have limited access and marketing capacity
- Sustainable products and services are not promoted at the destination
- Lack of capacity in public sector
- Lack of monitoring and evaluation policy/mandate for evaluation tourism impacts
The priorities for key potential working areas for the Global Programme in these regions may include:
- Tourism/ Destination Planning
- Tourism Investment
- Tourism Monitoring and Evaluation
- Tourism Operations and Management
A stocktaking exercise has also been commissioned by UNEP that seeks information on existing data/sources of information needed as a baseline for consideration, as well as relevant UN resolutions and programmes. A proposal has been planned for the 10YFP sustainable tourism programme and the stocktaking exercise, consultations and the survey will support its’ development and its practical implementation and delivery mechanisms globally and regionally.