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About WTD 2014
Tourism and Community Development
World Tourism Day (WTD) 2014 drew special attention to the role of tourism in contributing to one of the building blocks of a more sustainable future for all: Community development. This focus was chosen to be in line with the global transition to the Sustainable Development Goals as the guiding principle promoted by the UN from 2015 and beyond.
As a sector representing 9% of global GDP, one in 11 jobs worldwide, and a key revenue sector for developing and emerging economies, tourism is widely acknowledged for its capacity to respond to global challenges. The consolidation of tourism’s economic influence has built up its social responsibility and political relevance, with a growing number of countries allocating a stronger mandate to tourism in economic and development policy planning.
With the special focus on the community, WTD 2014 highlighted how tourism can be conducive to advancing sustainable development from the grassroots level. Community based tourism involves the local population in the decision making process according to local priorities. The opportunity to become part of the tourism value chain actively involves host communities in the development process. Tourism thus becomes a catalyst of social cohesion, going beyond the immediate impact of job creation and its positive economic consequences and enhances, for instance, local governance capabilities which multiply the tourism impact even further.
This 2014 official celebrations took place in Guadalajara, Mexico and included a high-level Think Tank on the 2014 theme with the participation of Tourism Ministers, international experts and policy makers in the field of tourism and development.