Tourism is certainly the largest and fastest-growing industry in the world. Today, tourism accounts for 10 per cent of the global GDP, creating 1 in every 11 jobs in the world. Every year, millions of tourists flock to various tourist attractions such as historical sites, museums and coastlines, bringing income and jobs to local economy. In fact, the international tourist arrivals grew by 4.6 per cent in 2015, recording 1,184 million. The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) forecasts that this number will reach 1.8 billion by 2030 (UNWTO).
Despite the economic and social benefits brought by tourism, however, many countries have been experiencing the consequences of the increased number of tourists and excessive development, including coastal degradation, the loss of biodiversity, higher risks of climate change, etc. In particular, the Eleventh Meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics has closed with calls to make “Safe Coastal Tourism” a priority in coastal destinations worldwide. The need for well-designed plans for sustainable tourism is highlighted to ensure the long-term economic, environmental and social benefits, especially for coastal regions. These areas need to sustain its own characteristics in order to achieve balanced local development in the long term (UNWTO).
In this context, tourism has become internationally and officially recognized within the UN dialogue such as the UN Commission on sustainable Development (1999) for the question of ‘quality tourism’ rather than its ‘quantifiable volume’. The dominant agenda on tourism development has moved its focus from ‘how much developed’ to ‘how well developed’, which called for the need of sustainable tourism management.
This workshop, therefore, provides a venue for participants to understand the sustainable tourism management for coastal destinations through various lectures and group activities. Best practices on sustainable tourism will be presented, offering opportunities to explore well-designed tourism development cases around the world. There will be sessions to discuss good policies and practical sustainable tourism projects in line with the UN SDGs. Finally, the workshop will help local actors effectively develop relevant policies, promoting and enhancing their geographical advantages for the social, environmental and economic benefits in the long term.
The workshop aims to build capacity of participants on coastal tourism policy, whilst promoting awareness and recognition on the importance of sustainable tourism management. For the capacity building, this event will;
- Provide an opportunity for local governments and cities in the Asia-Pacific region to exchange sustainable tourism policies and best practices through city-to-city cooperation.
- Facilitate a learning atmosphere between cities and establish a strong network which can be utilized after the workshop.
- Offer a venue for knowledge sharing and discussion and motivate participants to implement sustainable tourism policies, with particular focues on coastal management.
At the end of the workshop, the participants will be able to:
- Identify sustainable tourism trends and policy development in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda
- Utilize the lessons learned from the good cases of sustainable tourism policy implementation
- Describe sustainable tourism practices for regional/city/local development through local people’s participation
- Share best practices of the community/local government-driven tourism projects
- Recognize the economic impacts of sustainable tourism on the regional development, and the importance of environmental and cultural conservation for sustainable tourism
- Develop partnerships to effectively promote the benefits of sustainable tourism policies with civil societies, government and local entrepreneurs
The workshop will be composed of the following sessions:
- Session 1: The Global Trends of Sustainable Tourism and the UN SDGs
- Session 2: Understanding of Ecotourism: concept, products and ecotourists
- Session 3: Climate Change and Sustainable Tourism: Opportunities and Challenges for Tourism in Coastal Destinations
- Session 4-1: Sustainable Tourism Policy for Coastal Regions: Tourism as an Economic and Social Development Tool
- Session 4-2: Environmental conservation and eco-tourism
- Session 5: Sustainable Tourism Finance and Investment
- Session 6: Resource Management for Sustainable Tourism: Sustainable Consumption and Production
- Session 7: Tourism Marketing Strategies for Coastal Destinations
- Session 8: Sustainable Tourism Development for Coastal Regions: case studies
- Session 9: UNITAR-Developed City-Share Methodology
The training will be delivered through:
- Lectures and presentations by experts
- Self-assessment exercises
- Group work and discussions
- Action plan presentations
- Field visit to well-managed touristic spots
The targeted audience includes central/local authorities and representatives from NGOs, regional and community-based organizations, academic and training institutions and other local actors, who are working in the field of cultural tourism within the Asia-Pacific region.
** Participants should have sufficient command of both written and spoken English.