UN’s 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism

As I hinted at in my previous blog post, 2017 is set to be a big year for sustainable tourism. A new year brings a refreshed enthusiasm and vigour to our continuing push for positive change from the tourism sector. This is made all the more evident with the United Nations General Assembly declaring 2017 to be the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.


The UN’s decision to adopt 2017 as the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development presents an excellent opportunity for all of us across the global tourism community. Together we can utilise 2017 to deliver significant advances for the tourism sector, especially in terms of our ability to contribute to the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social, and environmental –raising awareness of the power our industry has to generate positive change.

It was with this in mind that The Travel Corporation (TTC) enthusiastically joined the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the UN agency leading the year’s focus on tourism on behalf of the entire global UN system, as a Diamond Sponsor, working towards helping mobilize our fellow industry stakeholders, partners, travellers and the general public, around the valuable role tourism can and does play in helping to transform the way we connect with our planet.

This commitment is perfectly aligned with the goals of our not-for-profit TreadRight Foundation, and further empowers TTC, as a global travel company, to help shepherd the sector towards a wholly sustainable future.

I am greatly looking forward to coming together with my fellow leaders from right across our highly influential industry to share best practices, magnify shared messaging, and advance our common agenda for an increasingly responsible and exemplary sector.

We all recognize the power of travel, the way in which travel experiences can open our minds, expand our appreciation and understanding for the world, and change the way we live our lives. Tourism is truly a force for good at a time when our world needs such aligning sectors and sensibilities. As we kick-off the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development we are looking to harness the power of travel, among both destinations and travellers alike, in order to help propel sustainable development forward.

Through the years I’ve witnessed first-hand the incredible ability our sector has to adapt, improve, and redefine itself, adjusting to international disasters, economic challenges, shifting trends and evolving political climates. I have no doubt that when we bring this ingenuity and dexterity together, focusing it on a mutual goal, our potential to generate lasting positive change is immeasurable.

We have much to accomplish in the months ahead, and even more in the years that follow, as we take the things we learn throughout the full programme of activities the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and implement them across our industry and beyond. It’s a significant commitment, and one that will take a great deal of work from all of us, but I am confident it will be fulfilling and rewarding.

I can’t wait to see what we accomplish, together.