While we all know that 2016 was a difficult year for many with some ‘interesting’ political developments and the loss of some of the world’s greatest stars, 2017 is already looking to make amends. The United Nations has declared this year as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
The tourism industry makes up around 10% of the world’s economic activity, and the UN is recognising its potential to help fight poverty and propagate an intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding across the world and its boundaries.
In a statement declaring the importance of tourism and 2017’s selection, the UN wrote:
“Fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere leads to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and brings about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world.”
Here at Cycle Cities we have always valued the good that bicycle tourism can do in terms of helping the environment and reducing harmful emissions, but it’s fantastic to see UNESCO recognising the enormous potential of the industry in terms of helping to bring about social change.
The power and potential of tourism to propel positive social action is also reflected by our network and what we are trying to achieve at Cycle Cities. Tourism and globalization have led to a huge growth in the circulation of ideas, people and cultural trends. It can be channeled in ways that allow visitors to enjoy and learn from the wealth and diversity of cultural heritage, cultural expressions and intangible cultural practices, the same way our partners and clients are able to benefit from the sharing of knowledge across national and cultural boundaries to provide and experience only the finest bicycle tours available.
Help to support the UN’s mission and recognise the potential of tourism to help the world by booking a bicycle tour!
By Kiwi, Partner Communications at Cycle Cities and supporter of sustainability