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The 17 Sustainable Development Goals

fulfilling the resolutions of the World Summit on Sustainable Tourism

In order to contribute to the creation of a collective consciousness of tourism based on the principles of sustainability, the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI) has adapted the principles emanating from the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to the reality of the Tourist Agents at a global level. Such adaptation will promote the dissemination of the SDGs, facilitating their adoption at all levels established by the UN: governments, civil society and the private sector.

From the RTI we consider tourism, by its scope and dimension, a key vector to drive the adoption of this commitment by destinations worldwide. For this reason, the Technical Committee and the RTI Scientific Committee are working on the extraction and adaptation of the objectives and goals of the 2030 United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development, offering a more specific interpretation of the objectives and defining the fields of action of the tourism industry for its fulfillment through the Sustainable Tourism System and its international recognition, the Biosphere Responsible Tourism Seal.

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Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

As one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economic sectors, tourism is one of the main drivers of world trade and prosperity, and has continued to be even during these years of global economic crisis. The tourism sector is uniquely positioned to foster growth and economic development at all levels and to provide income through job creation.

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

The supply of local agricultural products not only improves the well-being of the community of the destination, but also increases its attractiveness in the tourist market, offering the tourists a greater authenticity in their experiences.

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Tourism can have a notable effect on health and well-being, not only through its contribution to economic growth and sustainable development, but also through its role as a transmitter of ideas and customs. By empowering local health practices, not only a channel of understanding between cultures is built, but also good health and well-being practices can be shared.


Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning

A good level of training is crucial for the tourism sector. The sector can provide incentives to invest in education and professional training, promoting professional mobility through cross-border agreements on professional training (especially for young people, women, the elderly, indigenous communities and groups with special needs) transmitting values of tolerance, peace and non-violence.

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Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

As one of the sectors with the highest proportion of women employed and entrepreneurs, tourism can and should be a tool for the empowerment of women, helping to ensure that their participation in all aspects of society is full.


Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

Tourism has the moral and commercial imperative to improve its water management. The cost is a clear factor: the consumption of water supposes on average 10% of the fixed expense of any hotel. Many hotels also pay double for the water they consume: first, buying potable water and secondly disposing of it as waste water. On the other hand, the moral aspect is equally compelling: water is a scarce resource in many resorts around the world, which is why hotels have the responsibility of not using more than necessary, especially in remote areas where only through efficient management is ensured that local residents are not deprived of essential supplies.


Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

The tourism industry is one of the main interest groups in favor of good practices in energy saving, due to the great economic, social, cultural and environmental impact of its activity. The fact that tourism agents act in a responsible and sustainable way creates additional benefits that not only affect the well-being of the population, but also allow destinations to increase their competitiveness and presence at an international level.


Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

Sustainable economic growth and the reduction of poverty through tourism depend on it being able to generate employment opportunities, creating synergies with agriculture and local service provider sectors, and stimulating the development of basic infrastructure such as roads And port and airport facilities.
To this end, it is essential that tourism revenues be used to finance infrastructure development, to support local businesses, particularly SMEs, and to develop the skills and institutions needed to strengthen the local economy.

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Tourism development is based on good public and private infrastructure and an innovative environment. The sector must be committed to a constructive model based on the principles of sustainable development, in which different groups and market players contribute strongly to the settlement and application of a culture of protection of the environment and cultural identity applied to the building sector, based on the commitment to sustainability.

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Today, tourism provides stability at a time of special global economic volatility. Tourism can therefore become an instrument for the development of the community and the reduction of inequalities if it engages the local populations in its development. Tourism has the potential to contribute to urban renewal and rural development and reduce regional imbalances, giving communities the opportunity to thrive in their place of origin.


Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

A city that is not good for tourists if it is not good for its inhabitants. Safety is one of the main guidelines for the evaluation of man in the choice of a destination during free time for tourism and recreation and must be interpreted as an objective and subjective state that allows us to perceive that we move in a space free from Actual or potential risks. Sustainable tourism has a duty to analyze the problems of safety in the context of tourism and to address these problems in all its concrete manifestations, coming from the same sector, its social environment, the natural environment and the person of the tourist or visitor.

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

A tourism sector that adopts sustainable consumption and production practices can play an important role in accelerating the global shift towards sustainability. To this end, initiatives for the efficient use of resources must be developed, leading to better results, not only economic but also social and environmental.

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Tourism can play a leading role in the fight against climate change by fully mobilizing the resources and innovation capacity of this world economic sector of vital importance, guiding them towards this goal. Climate change will affect tourist destinations, their competitiveness and their sustainability in many aspects. It can directly alter environmental resources that are outstanding tourist attractions, or indirectly through loss of biodiversity, scarcity of resources such as water or by levies derived from mitigation policies.

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

Coastal and maritime tourism, large segments of tourism, particularly for small island developing States, depend on healthy marine ecosystems. Tourism development should be a part of integrated coastal zone management in order to help conserve and preserve fragile marine ecosystems and serve as a vehicle for promoting a blue economy. Much of the tourism is in or near the oceans. Fishing, sailing, diving, snorkeling and cruising are examples of tourist operations that depend on the health of the oceans, coastal habitats and marine environments. The Blue Community program has been actively involved in tourism programs to protect oceans and marine environments and coastal habitats.

Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Tourism may be the sector that is most interested in preserving the air, water, forests and biodiversity of the area, since they generate the assets (landscapes, wetlands, forests and other natural spaces) that are often the main cause why tourists visiting a destination. Tourism should play an important role, not only in the conservation and preservation of biodiversity, but also in respect for terrestrial ecosystems, making efforts towards reducing waste and consumption, conserving flora and Wildlife, and awareness-raising activities.

Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Sustainable tourism is called upon to contribute effectively to poverty alleviation and the eradication of destination inequalities, through a better redistribution of income and the elimination of exclusionary criteria and activities. It is in this context of fairness and just redistribution that tourism, being the largest and fastest growing industry, can and should equally become the first industry for world peace. To this end, initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, preservation of heritage and identity, and the search for a peaceful and sustainable world must be promoted and facilitated, making each traveler a potential “Ambassador for Peace”.

Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The active contribution of tourism to sustainable development necessarily presupposes the participation and collaboration of all public and private actors involved in tourism activities. Such concerted action must be based on effective mechanisms of cooperation and partnership in all areas, both at the destination and at the international level. The sustainable governance of destinations, beyond the powers of governments and administrations, is one of the great challenges today.

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