Wednesday, 4 May 2022, 10am - 1pm & 3pm - 6pm, General Assembly Hall

The President of the General Assembly will be convening a High-Level Thematic Debate on the theme “Putting sustainable and resilient tourism at the heart of an inclusive recovery” in close collaboration with UNWTO, UNDP, UNEP, and UNCTAD. The event provides the opportunity for Member States, and other relevant stakeholders to discuss strategies, share best practises and experiences in three high-level thematic roundtables. 

The three thematic roundtables will consider how tourism can advance recovery for people, planet, and prosperity, including cross-cutting aspects of financing, and digitalization. Governments, other public and private actors will share best practices, case studies and lessons learned based on their experiences over the past two years.

Roundtable 1 - For People: Leaving no one behind through inclusive tourism

Tourism can help advance the empowerment of women, local and indigenous communities, generate opportunities for the youth and engages them in actions for creating more resilient and peaceful societies. In the context of the recovery, Roundtable 1 will discuss ways and means by which Member States, the private sector and other stakeholders could enhance inclusion and participation in tourism policy and decision-making processes, incorporating gender responsive policies, community empowerment and capacity building opportunities at local level, and supporting growth and sustainability of micro-businesses and local creative industries.

Roundtable 2 - For Planet: Accelerating a climate friendly transformation

CO2 emissions from tourism are forecasted to increase by 25% by 2030 from 2016 levels, against the current ambition scenario. Therefore, the need to scale up climate action in tourism remains urgent as emissions could rapidly rebound once operations restart. The pandemic has underscored the need to simultaneously boost the resilience and sustainability of the tourism sector, including tourism infrastructure. It has highlighted the vulnerability of the sector to the effects of extreme weather and health related events and further made evident the need to protect the natural environment. The links between pandemic risk and biodiversity loss highlights the need for an inclusive, trans disciplinary, and cross-sectoral approach.

Roundtable 2 will discuss ways and means by which Member States, the private sector and other stakeholders can adopt integrated and socio-economically-sound strategies that can rebuild the sector making it a key driver for a sustainable and climate friendly transformation, generating millions of green jobs while reducing its climate and environmental footprint.

Roundtable 3 - For Prosperity: Re-invigorating investments in sustainable tourism

The impact of COVID-19 has reinforced the need to diversify economies and boost investments in circular and low carbon and inclusive business models and policies. The pandemic has resulted in the acceleration of digital transformation, innovation and an uptake in adoption of technology throughout the tourism value chain. At the same time, the recovery process is unequal, with developing countries not having enough fiscal space to fully support the recovery and having already borrowed to support their economies during the pandemic. Roundtable 3 will discuss ways and means by which Member States can unlock innovative financing to promote sustainable investments across the tourism sector.

Where to Watch

The High-Level Thematic Debate on Tourism can be watched live on UN Webtv