Tourism accounts for nearly 10 percent of the global GDP, and more than one out of every 10 jobs falls into the tourism and travel sector. Given these numbers, it’s no surprise that sustainable tourism is seen as a key contributor to the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 — prompting the United Nations (U.N.) to recognize 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
To commemorate the year, on June 21, Airbnb, Chemonics, George Washington University, the Jamaican government, Harvard University, the World Bank Group, the World Economic Forum, and the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) come together to discuss innovations and best practices in sustainable tourism development. The Tourism Knowledge Exchange 2017: Delivering on Inclusion through Tourism, held at the World Bank, focuses on boosting economic inclusion along tourism value chains. The event also looks at the role that data can play in influencing policy decisions around tourism sector growth.
This event is a lead-up to the Global Conference on Partnerships for Jobs and Inclusive Growth through Sustainable Tourism, a multiday conference in Jamaica in November, co-hosted by Chemonics, the Jamaican government, the World Bank Group, and the UNWTO with support from George Washington University.
As part of the first panel on June 21, Ibrahim Osta presents on Chemonics’ experience developing entrepreneurship opportunities for women and rural communities to offer authentic visitor experiences as a viable source of livelihood. Mr. Osta, chief of party for USAID’s Building Economic Growth through Tourism project in Jordan, has led USAID tourism projects in Jordan for more than a decade and provides keen insight into the myriad ways that tourism can jumpstart workforce development and economic growth. He joins representatives from Airbnb’s Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships Department and Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism.
“Tourism fuels virtually every aspect of economic activity — from food and lodging, to artistic design, digital applications, and banking,” Mr. Osta explains. “With a view that the person is the center of our attention, at Chemonics, we are creating innovations by harnessing our wealth of expertise from various disciplines to create integrated ecologically and financially sustainable growth that improves lives, develops communities, and anchors economies.”
Chemonics is an affiliate member of the UNWTO and has been sharing best practice models of tourism development at international tourism forums, including in Yerevan, Petra, and Cairo.
Curious about the June 21 Tourism Knowledge Exchange at the World Bank? Register here.
Find out more information about the Global Conference on Partnerships for Jobs and Inclusive Growth through Sustainable Tourism in Jamaica here.