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The Lusaka Declaration on Promoting Sustainable Tourism

The Lusaka Declaration on Promoting Sustainable Tourism

Lusaka (Zambia) – November 30, 2017 ( – The Secretariat of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), presents its compliments to the Members of the UNWTO Commission for Africa, the Affiliate Members of the region as well as other recipients, and has the honour to present to them The Lusaka Declaration on Promoting Sustainable Tourism, a Tool for Inclusive Growth and Community Engagement in Africa.

This declaration took place during the International Conference on Promoting Sustainable Tourism:A Tool for Inclusive Growth and Community Engagement in Africa, held in Lusaka, Zambia from 16-18 November 2017 organized jointly by the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the UNWTO as an official event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017 (IY2017).

The final outcome of the conference was the Lusaka Declaration on Promoting Sustainable Tourism Development, a Tool for Inclusive Growth and Community Engagement in Africa. The document, which places sustainability at the core of tourism development and on national and international development agenda, was adopted unanimously by all participants.

We are shar this declaration with the representatives of the private sector, tour operators and other sectors related and committed to sustainable tourism and its potential in poverty alleviation and to transformative change.

on Promoting Sustainable Tourism, a Tool for Inclusive Growth and Community Engagement in Africa
Lusaka, Zambia, 16-18 November 2017

We, the representatives of Africa’s tourism administrations, international and regional organizations, local communities, and the private sector, gathered at the International Conference on “Promoting Sustainable Tourism: A Tool for Inclusive Growth and Community Engagement in Africa”, organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Arts of the Republic of Zambia and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in Lusaka, Zambia, on 16-18 November 2017, as an official event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 (IY2017),

1. Recalling

1.1 The UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/69/233 of 19 December 2014 on the “Promotion of sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, for poverty eradication and environment protection”, which recognizes that “sustainable tourism, including ecotourism,represents an important driver of sustainable economic growth and decent job creation and that it can have a positive impact on income generation and education, and thus on the fight against poverty and hunger”;

1.2 The UN General Assembly Resolution 70/1 of 25 September 2015 on “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as UN Resolution A/RES/70/193 declaring 2017 as the International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development;

1.3 The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 1 3 September 2007, which sets out the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, including their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and other issues, as well as the First African Charter on Sustainable and Responsible Tourism, adopted in the framework of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP22) on 10 November 2016 in Marrakech,Morocco, that serves as a voluntary framework to monitor and implement sustainable and responsible principles in the tourism sector and which reaffirms the “firm belief that tourism is one of the key drivers of socioeconomic development in Africa”;

1.4 The African Union Agenda 2063 whose vision is for “an integrated prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena” and which recognizes tourism as a tool for socioeconomic development, the empowerment of women and youth and for environmental preservation;

1.5 The UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, approved by the UNWTO General Assembly in
1999 and endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2001, which comprises a comprehensive set of principles as guidelines for responsible and sustainable tourism, including the provision of fair and quality training and employment opportunities in tourism;

1.6 The UNWTO “Manila Call for Action on Measuring Sustainable Tourism” of 23 June 2017, which recognizes that “sustainable tourism drives inclusive economic growth and social development by promoting entrepreneurship, creating jobs and fighting poverty” and is based on the strong conviction that credible and comprehensive data on sustainable tourism is key for effective evidence-based policies and management;

1.7 The ChengduDeclaration of the 22nd UNWTO GeneralAssembly on “Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals” of 13 September 2017, which affirms that “tourism is a vital instrument for the achievement of the 17 SDGs and beyond”;

2. Taking into consideration that tourism, if well managed and monitored, has the potential to contribute directly or indirectly to all 17 SDGs in view of its cross-cutting nature, and the fact that it is specifically featured in Goals 8, 12 and 14 on inclusive and sustainable economic growth, sustainable consumption and production, and the sustainable use of oceans and marine resources;

3. Understanding that tourism can, with appropriate planning and implementation, substantially contribute to poverty reduction and inclusive growth, environmental conservation and the preservation of intangible and tangible cultural heritage and traditions, and building peace;

4. Recognizing that tourism represents a key driver for job creation, community pride and social welfare and can contribute to the empowerment of local communities, in particular to the empowerment of women and youth;

5. Emphasizing that Africa is endowed with rich biodiversity, cultural and artistic heritage, vibrant communities and growing cities, with immense tourism potential, and is expected to double its international tourist arrivals to 134 million by 2030;

6. Considering that the development of tourism in Africa offers opportunities in terms of infrastructure development, destination access, connectivity, travel facilitation, safety and security, human capital development, women’s and youth empowerment, and marketing;

7. Taking into consideration that local companies and communities should be fully integrated in the tourism value chain to minimize economic leakages from the importation of inputs into the sector, and that local procurement for tourism services can generate business opportunities for local supplies;

8. Understanding that integrating sustainable consumption and production patterns in the tourism sector in Africa requires, among others, the identification and adoption of tourism planning approaches that improve resource efficiency by tourism stakeholders;

9. Emphasizing that approaches such as the circular economy – which promotes business models based on renewable resources, longer and diverse product life cycles, shared consumption and interconnected value chains – can play a significant role when designing and improving resource management systems not only in the tourism sector, but for the sustainable development of destinations as well;

10. Recommend raising awareness of tourism’s role in contributing to sustainable development in Africa at the global, regional and national levels, and to prioritize tourism development in national plans in Africa in order to position the sector more effectively in accessing development assistance, Aid for Trade (AfT) and other financing mechanisms;

11. Encourage maximizing the positive and minimizing the negative aspects of tourism through the adoption and application of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism by governments and the private sector;

12. Urge that local communities and indigenous peoples are involved the development of tourism and that local economic impacts are enhanced by engaging local communities through their direct participation in the management of tourism attractions, services and facilities, and supporting the establishment of small tourism-related business;

13. Recommend encouraging the global donor community, investors and financial institutions to recognise the potential of tourism to contribute to the SDGs and to increase investment for the sustainable development of tourism, particularly related to infrastructure, product and human resource development, research and technology;

14. Recommend promoting safe, secure and seamless travel, liberalizing the skies and providing incentives for all types of transportation enterprises to expand their services within the African continent and beyond;

15. Encourage Governments and other regional stakeholders to join the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme, which aims to promote innovation and circular thinking to accelerate resource efficiency in the tourism value chain;

16. Invite Governments and other regional stakeholders to join the UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) to promote socially, economically and environmentally sustainable tourism, and to support the practice of informed policy making around the world, mainly through the identification and dissemination of best practices and enhanced awareness of and capacity-building for sustainability among tourism stakeholders;

17. Recognize that private-public partnerships (PPPs) will continue to be relevant and beneficial as a vehicle for tourism development and that various countries have developed models relevant to their circumstances and thus acknowledge the need to share lessons and best practices amongst the global community through a potential knowledge network;

18. Encourage countries to develop modalities to monitor PPPs for sustainability, including those involving communities and the private sector;

19. Call upon

19.1 The Governments of Africa to actively develop and implement tourism policies that further contribute to sustainable development and the achievement of the SDGs;

19.2 All tourism stakeholders to work together to promote safe and seamless travel, improve infrastructure and connectivity to and within the African region;

19.3 All tourism stakeholders to benefit from technological achievements and incorporate them into their sustainable tourism plans and practices towards positioning an “African Tourism Brand” while simultaneously contributing to development;

19.4 All tourism stakeholders to ensure local community participation along the entire value chain;

19.5 All tourism stakeholders to recognize the role of tourism in contributing to a greater understanding and respect among civilizations, cultures and religions, and thus to peace;

19.6 The global donor community, investors, and financial institutions to recognize the potential of tourism to contribute to the 2030 Agenda, and to substantially increase investment in sustainable tourism development in Africa and beyond;

19.7 The UN, and UNWTO in particular, as well as other international organisations, to intensify efforts to advance tourism as a tool for sustainable development, with a specific focus on the African region, and to trigger changes in policies, business practices and consumer behaviour on the occasion of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 and beyond;

20. Extend

Our sincere gratitude to our host, the Government of Zambia, for its warm hospitality and amiable support for the organization of the Conference, as well as its significant contribution to the advancement of the sustainable tourism agenda as a driver for change and an inclusive future.

Lusaka, 17 November 2017