Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World Tourism Day, “Tourism and the digital transformation”, observed on 27 September:
The wide reach of tourism into many sectors, from infrastructure and energy to transport and sanitation, and its huge impact on job creation, make it a vital contributor to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the same time, tourism plays a pivotal role in advancing cultural understanding and bringing people together.
Yet, tourism needs innovation in technology to realize its potential contributions. Its benefits need to flow to host communities. Governments can help to connect start-ups with investors to facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship, employment and a truly inclusive tourism sector.
Digital technologies have brought positive momentum to societies and economies around the world. They have connected us on a global level, helped to empower the most vulnerable and become our crucial allies for sustainable development. Our challenge is to continue harnessing this power for good while safeguarding against the risks.
On World Tourism Day, I call on Governments to support digital technologies that can transform the way we travel, reduce the ecological burden of tourism and bring the benefits of tourism to all.