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Tourism Minister hopeful tourism will make meaningful contribution to achievement of the SDGs

Tourism Minister hopeful tourism will make meaningful contribution to achievement of the SDGs

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tourism and Arts Minister Hon. Charles Banda has said the setting of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations (UN) is a redirection of the enlightenment project, a pragmatic response to the problems of our times.
Speaking yesterday during the 22nd Session of the UNWTO General Assembly themed, Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals & Building Partnerships for Development in Chengdu, China the Minister said there is still need to ensure successful implementation of the SDGs within the tourism sector.

“As Zambia, we accept the fact that tourism is one important sector that will play a fundamental role in achieving the objectives of the 17 SGD’s.  Therefore, we are more than persuaded and hopeful that tourism can help in achieving the SDG’s in our country in the following five key areas; poverty reduction, environmental protection, promotion of trade and partnerships, promotion of peace and security and promotion of Sustainable tourism,” he said.
The Minister said the integration of developing countries into regional and global markets is a central theme in the SDGs. Specifically, SDG 17 on strengthening the global partnership for sustainable development contains a separate section on trade, including a commitment to promoting a “universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system” under the World Trade Organisation.
Hon Banda said with the commitment within the SDGs, Zambia is convinced that, tourism being one of the strongest drivers of world trade and prosperity representing 7% of all international trade and has an increasing relevance to the trade community will help us in achieving the overall objectives of the SDGs.
He noted that Tourism is part of services trade, accounting for 30% of the world’s trade in services. This is particularly true for the developing countries like ours, where it represents 7% of total exports of goods and services, a figure that stands at 10% for non-oil exporting developing countries
The Minister said Zambia as a country whose tourism development strategy is based on developing a tourism industry that is sustainable, there is no doubt that tourism will be a driving force towards our quest to achieving the SDGs.
He urged delegates and the UNWTO family to go out there and preach the message of hope for our sector with the SDGs.