European Geoparks Network celebrates the International Year for Sustainable Tourism promoting Geoparks as sustainable destinations!

The United Nations (UN) has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The resolution, recognizes the importance of international tourism, and particularly of the designation of an international year of sustainable tourism for development, in fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere, in leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world. The International Year (IY 2017) aims to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among decision-makers and the public, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change.

The European Geoparks Network became silver partner of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017 (IY2017) following the decision taken during its 38th EGN Coordination Meeting in the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark in September 2016.

Aim is to promote the European UNESCO Global Geoparks as sustainable tourism destinations to the International Tourism market, to promote Geoparks and build new Links with the tourism market, raise the profile and visibility of the UNESCO Global Geoparks among the main players in tourism industry, to promote Geoparks collectively through this UNITED NATIONS’ initiative operated by the World Tourism Organization.

Watch the new EGN promotional video dedicated to the International Year of Sustainable Tourism 2017:

A series of events are going to be organized by all 69 European UNESCO Global Geoparks in order to gain the biggest visibility through the IY2017, to promote sustainable tourism as a tool for development, to encourage its full integration in national, regional and global development agendas , to highlight its catalytic function for economic and sustainable development and to increase awareness among all stakeholders – including tourists – of the impact of travel and tourism on society and the environment, and how responsible travel can contribute to sustainable development.

The International Year shall explore and highlight tourism’s role in the following five key areas:

1. Inclusive and sustainable economic growth

2. Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction

3. Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change

4. Cultural values, diversity and heritage

5. Mutual understanding, peace and security

The Dandelion in the IY2017 logo represents Planet Earth where people—as seeds—travel in a sustainable, clean and responsible way. By travelling, these seeds connect to others through knowledge and culture, and thus build a better future. These are the principles that have inspired the IY2017, and hence, what we want to achieve through our mutual cooperation.