The importance of tourism to sustainable economic growth has been explored in a joint event held at Rio+20 in Brazil.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) joined forces to discuss the impact of green innovation in tourism.
Speaking at the event, Brazil’s Minister for Tourism said “there can be no economic growth in tourism without sustainability, without conservation of natural resources.”
The event highlighted that shifts in tourism practices can produce major benefits, and that green innovation can lead to more jobs, reduced environmental impacts, cutting costs and increasing competitive advantages for companies and destinations while enhancing the visitor experience.
Obstacles to innovation include a lack of awareness among customers, access to business information and finance for small and medium sized enterprises and a lack of policy integration across sectors such as tourism, transport, energy and environment.
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