UNGA Sustainable Tourism Resolutions

UNWTO has been involved in the field of ecotourism since the early 1990s and developed a set of guidelines focusing on the strong link between protected area and tourism, with the aim of ensuring that tourism contributes to the purposes of protected areas and does not undermine them.

In the framework of the UN-declared International Year of Ecotourism (IYE) 2002, UNWTO undertook a wide range of activities, including the organization of regional conferences and the World Ecotourism Summit, and published guidelines and methodologies for ecotourism development and market studies, as well as supported regional and national activities.

At the request of the United Nations General Assembly, the World Tourism Organization prepared a report on the activities undertaken by States and major international organizations in the framework of the International Year of Ecotourism. Also UNWTO prepared a series of market reports to increase the knowledge of seven important countries considered “Ecotourism generating markets”.

UNGA Resolution 72/214: Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America

Adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 December 2017 and published in the UNGA official website on 29 January 2018, this resolution was based on a report on the same issue prepared by UNWTO (document A/72/174). and submitted to the 72nd of the UN GA convened in September 2017, recognizing  the important role of tourism for the sustainable development of Central American countries.

Among others, the resolution highlights the key elements of sustainable tourism such as protecting biodiversity and cultural heritage; the empowerment and promotion of children, women, older persons, persons with disabilities and indigenous and local communities through sustainable tourism; the valuable role of international cooperation; as well as the need to support capacity building and promoting further the development of sustainable tourism, in particular through consumption of sustainable tourism products as well as development of ecotourism.

Kindly note that the resolution is available in all UN official languages at the following link: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/72/214

UNWTO has undertaken a survey on sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America, with the participation of its Member States and UN Members from the Central America region. This survery responds to the request made to UNWTO by the United Nations General Assembly to collaborate with the Secretary General in the submission of a report on the implementation of UN Resolution 70/196, entitled “Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America”

Promotion of sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, for poverty eradication and environment protection 

In 2014, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted by consensus resolution 69/233 on Promotion of sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, for poverty eradication and environment protection, a milestone resolution recognizing the contribution of sustainable tourism to poverty eradication, community development and the protection of biodiversity. The resolution, (available in EnglishFrenchRussian and Spanish) is significantly broader in scope than previous ones on the subject, builds on resolution 67/223 from 2012 and draws on a report prepared by UNWTO in August 2014. In line with recommendations of the report, it underlines the importance of appropriate national policies, guidelines and regulations for promoting sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, and encourages UN Member States and regional and international financial institutions to support sustainable tourism projects, enabling the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises, promoting cooperatives and facilitating access to inclusive financial services, including microcredit initiatives for the poor, local and indigenous communities.

In December 2016, the UNGA adopted, by consensus, resolution 71/240 on Promotion of sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, for poverty eradication and environment protection (available in English, French and Spanish), building on the report (A/71/173) submitted by UNWTO in July 2016, which provided an update on sustainable tourism policies and practices worldwide since the issue of the previous report on the subject in 2014. Resolution 71/240, facilitated by Morocco and sponsored by an impressive total of 59 delegations representing Member States from all regions and development spectrum, it is much larger than the previous resolution and quite substantive, covering various key aspects which highlight the role and contribution of sustainable tourism and ecotourism to sustainable development, including the work of the INSTO observatories, and recognizes its great potential for implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

In July 2018, UNWTO submitted to the 73rd UNGA, the updated report (A/73/274) on the implementation of UN General Assembly resolution 71/240, on the advances made since the last issuance of the previous report and has also included recommendations on ways and means to promote sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, as a tool for fighting poverty and promoting sustainable development in its three dimensions - economic, social and environmental - in a balanced and integrated manner. The report on the promotion of sustainable tourism for poverty eradication and environment protection features advances made that are based, among others, on a survey conducted in 2018 among all UN Member States and contains a set of recommendations to promote and enhance sustainable tourism worldwide.

Promotion of ecotourism for poverty eradication and environment protection

In December 2010, the UNGA adopted the resolution 65/173 on Promotion of ecotourism for poverty eradication and environment protection (available in English, French, and Spanish).

In 2012, the UNGA adopted resolution 67/223 on the Promotion of ecotourism for poverty eradication and environment protection ( (available in English, French and Spanish). The resolution, led by Morocco, sponsored by a record 105 delegations and unanimously adopted, draws on the recommendations contained in a report prepared by UNWTO, in accordance with resolution 65/173, on the basis of responses from 48 Member States (see UNWTO press release). The resolution reflects developments since 2010, namely the inclusion for the first time of tourism in the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO+20) and the results of the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity and calls on UN Member States to adopt policies that promote ecotourism highlighting its “positive impact on income generation, job creation and education, and thus on the fight against poverty and hunger”.