July 20, 2024
English TKP News

UN Tourism engages Antigua and Barbuda to support Small Island Developing States

The organization has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening the resilience of the sector and increasing the importance of inclusive development in these countries

At the Fourth International Conference for SIDS, Small Island Developing States, (Antigua and Barbuda, 27-30 May), United Nations Tourism joined government leaders and United Nations agencies to identify a shared path towards a resilient prosperity. The conference concluded with the adoption of the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS (ABAS), with tourism at its center.

Tourism and SIDS: a vital economic pillar

According to UN Tourism data, SIDS welcomed 36 million international tourist arrivals in 2023, representing 91% of pre-pandemic levels worldwide, meaning recovery rates surpassed the global figure of 89%. %. Although SIDS account for only 3% of all global arrivals, tourism is a lifeline in SIDS small island developing States, where the sector accounts for 38% of all exports (excluding Singapore), reaching up to 85% in the case of some countries. .

However, there is a pressing need to transition towards a sustainable and resilient tourism model that puts people and the planet at the centre. Localizing the supply chain to reduce leakage, de-risking investments and protecting biodiversity are critical to resilience, as outlined in the ABAS.

UN Tourism pledges support to SIDS

Both in plenary discussions and during the Interactive Dialogue on Revitalizing the Economies of SIDS, UN Executive Director of Tourism Zoritsa Urosevic expressed her commitment to supporting SIDS through ongoing initiatives and programmes. A call was made to support the productive sectors (manufacturing, agri-food, fishing, creative industries); prioritize the creation of local and formal employment; develop social protection mechanisms; integrate circularity as a core business model; protect and restore ecosystems; support climate action; and explore innovative financing around blue carbon.

Rethinking tourism policy and finance

United Nations Tourism organized a side event on “Regenerative tourism: policies, practices and finances”, in relation to the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. The Ministers of Tourism of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Sint Marteen, as well as the local Ministry of Saint Kitts, presented their policies and practices. The Pacific Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Tourism Organization and experts from Sustainable Travel International, TUI Care Foundation and NOAH ReGen also participated in the discussions, especially addressing the need for collaboration and funding. The Ministry of Tourism of Antigua and Barbuda and the destination Saint Kitts became signatories to the Glasgow Declaration.

In collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the SDG Impact Lab at the University of Oxford, the Catalytic Finance Foundation and Pegasus Capital Advisors, UN Tourism co-organized the virtual side event ” Better data for better tourism.” in SIDS”. The event highlighted the role of the Statistical Framework for Measuring Tourism Sustainability in providing guidance for more harmonized and meaningful metrics to measure the impact, dependencies and growth of tourism “beyond GDP”, as well such as the role of market intelligence in creating knowledge relevant to action, and the importance of measuring tourism projects and initiatives at all levels, through the use of tools such as Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Through Tourism – Toolkit of Indicators. for Projects (TIPs) or STAR – Self-assessment Tool to Assist Rural Destinations.

Discussions were also held among UN Heads of Delegations on the implementation of ABAS and an inter-agency nexus dialogue on tourism in SIDS entitled “Advancing the sustainable development of SIDS through tourism: promoting of sustainable and circular consumption and production” within the framework of the One Red Planet Conference involving FAO, ILO, UNDP, UNEP, UNFCCC and United Nations Tourism.

Source: UN Tourism.

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