Tourism leaders call for urgent action to protect the oceans

UNWTO call for urgent action

Brest, France, 11 February 2022

Tourism’s central role in advancing the Blue Economy was highlighted as UNWTO chaired a special session and joined a Heads of State panel at the One Ocean Summit, hosted by the French Presidency this week.

In a session on “Tourism in the Blue Economy” co-hosted with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and France, high level representatives stressed how implementing a blue economy can combat the threats of climate change, plastic pollution and over exploitation of resources. At the same time, the panel, representing Colombia, Kenya, Seychelles and Palau, made clear how a stronger focus on sustainability can help deliver more competitive and inclusive tourism activities.

“Tourism is one of the pillars of the Blue Economy and plays a key role in the preservation of oceans by providing financial incentives and mechanisms to protect ecosystems. But we can, and must, do more. As part of the recovery, tourism shall play a key role in the regeneration of coastal and marine ecosystems for resilience, putting people at the center of our efforts” said UNWTO Executive Director Zoritsa Urosevic.

Tourism is one of the pillars of the Blue Economy

At present, tourism represents 40% of the blue economy – as the largest share in export value according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Global tourism’s restart and recovery from the impacts of the pandemic represents an opportunity for the sector to support the transformation of coastal and marine destinations towards more sustainable and resilient models that are anchored on ocean protection and responsible use.

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