UNWTO Webinar QUO VADIS TOURISM: “Agenda 2030 and SDGs in times of COVID-19” – What kind of tourism meets the Future We Want?

May 27, UNWTO hosted a very relevant webinar if to find answers on some pressing questions about tourism after COVID-19. What kind of tourism meets the Future We Want, meaning the Agenda 2030, which all governments in the world had agreed to when in 2015 committing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? What kind of tourism has the chance to recover? Or what kind of tourism should actually recover and therefore should receive support from governments? If interested in some of the answers, the webinar can still be revisited on YouTube

LT&C in its presentation during the webinar had put the focus on the green and blue SDGs, 6, 13, 14 & 15, meaning Water, Climate, and Biodiversity on Sea and Land, as we believe they are most important if the Future We Want should be achieved. Tourism, besides Education, is in a unique position to potentially support all the 17 SDGs. LT&C’s mission is to showcase, where tourism is supporting biodiversity (SDGs 14&15), more specifically protected areas, and has so far published 40 such LT&C-Examples.

The tourism sector ranks presently as one of the hardest hitten by the Corona crisis and therefore receives a lot of attention. However, present debates on helping tourism businesses to survive or recover often neglect the question of what kind of tourism we really need to reach the Future We Want (as defined by the SDGs). On the other hand government representatives increasingly defend their extremely large financial help packages by emphasising that they will be distributed in a targeted manner. What could make Corona-help to tourism more targeted and in line with what all governments already in 2015 agreed to, then looking for tourism cases, which can proof SDG-support? LT&C highlighted at the webinar in this context the recently communicated EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 with its statement “Investing in nature protection and restoration will also be critical for Europe’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis”. Some initial suggestions for targeted financing of tourism where provided in the LT&C-presentation at the UNWTO webinar: