The ceremony was assessed by the year´s main achievements and talked about the roadmap for advancing the contribution of tourism towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To quote UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai at the opening of the event, “2017, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, has been a unique opportunity for all of us to come together to promote the contribution of tourism to shape a better future for people and planet and to contribute to making this world a better place. We count on you as we embark on this exciting new journey towards 2030. I trust that together, as a sector, as people with the same vision and commitment, we will go far.”
Gloria Guevara, President and CEO, World.
“Sustainability remains the bedrock of our activity. We will continue to drive the conversation on planning for and managing tourism growth, define a sector-wide response to climate change, work on how the sector can reduce illegal trade in wildlife and contribute to inclusive job creation.”
Michael Møller, Director General United Nations Office
“It is so important that we succeed in making tourism sustainable by making sustainable tourism economically viable, culturally accepted, and universally practiced. The United Nations World Tourism Organization deserves great credit for tackling this head on throughout this past year.”
Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization in Jordan.
“I personally believe that the future of tourism lies in enabling ICT capacities. Accordingly, we should harness those powers for smart tourism… I believe that the way forward in our journey to 2030, is smart tourism. I call on all of you to guide me and support me in this endeavor”