MADRID, Spain — Tourism ministers of the G20 nations have committed to stepping up their efforts to place sustainability and inclusion at the heart of tourism recovery and future growth. The implementation of the World Tourism Organization AlUla Framework for Inclusive Community Development Through Tourism, presented on the occasion of the ministerial meeting, was welcomed by the G20 tourism ministers as a tool for achieving a fairer and more inclusive sector.
Under the leadership of the 2020 G20 Saudi Presidency, UNWTO and the G20 Tourism Working Group developed the AlUla Framework to further advance the contribution of the sector as an effective means towards fairer growth and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Framework provides specific recommendations and tools to support both governments as well as all other key stakeholders in the tourism sector – including regional and local governments, the private sector, industry associations, civil society, communities and tourists – fostering a truly holistic and integrated approach to inclusive community development through tourism.
G20 nations can set the example
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “As we join forces to restart tourism, we must live up to our responsibility to ensure that tourism’s benefits are shared by all. I congratulate the Saudi Presidency for placing inclusive community development through tourism at the heart of the G20 Agenda and I invite G20 countries to follow this vision and embrace tourism as an effective means for inclusion and sustainability.”
His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Tourism and Chair of the G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting welcomed the AlUla Framework saying, “On behalf of the G20 Tourism Ministers, I commend the Tourism Working Group and the UNWTO for this initiative. The AlUla Framework – named after Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO world heritage site – demonstrates how the tourism sector can promote inclusive community development by highlighting practical examples and case studies that governments can emulate to protect local culture and the environment, while empowering local communities, especially women and young people. The Framework is a vital tool to be used as we work together to rebuild the tourism sector to be more sustainable, resilient and inclusive.
Placing tourism at the heart of development policies
Calling for a model of tourism development based on Public-Private-Community (PPC) partnerships, the Framework includes a set of concrete programmes and initiatives based around four pillars of action – empowerment, safeguarding, prosperity and collaboration. It further defines the key areas of measurement for the impact of tourism in the communities in line with the Measuring Sustainable Tourism Initiative, led by UNWTO.
Among the G20 Guidelines for Inclusive Community Development through Tourism endorsed at the meeting, is the importance of placing tourism at the heart of development policies at international, national and local level. The guidelines further stress the importance of human capital development, inclusive labor markets, adequate social protection, and innovation and entrepreneurship as key contributors to travel and tourism as a human-centered sector, as well as to advancing women’s empowerment and to create decent jobs for all.