UN sees 1.8-B tourists by 2030

MANILA — Foreseeing 1.8 billion tourists travelling around the globe by 2030, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has urged the public to ensure that impacts of tourism are “positive” and “sustainable.

Given that all human activity has both advantages and disadvantages, Taleb Rifai, the Secretary-General of UNWTO, said it is up to the public to ensure that the impacts of travel contribute to sustainable development.

“1.8 billion travellers by 2030 could be 1.8 billion opportunities or 1.8 billion disasters and it is all up to us [to choose],” he said.

Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre said the Philippines will play its part in promoting sustainable tourism as committed by Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo before the organization.

In recognition of the potential of the tourism industry, the General Assembly had proclaimed 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

“With regard to the UN proclamation, the Philippines is committed to Sustainable Tourism and Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo made this commitment during the hosting of the UNWTO conference last year,” Alegre told the Philippine News Agency.

He said the country’s National Tourism Development Plan for 2016-2022 targets the arrival of 12 million foreign tourists. At present, current data of the department spanning January to October 2017 recorded around 5.47 million international arrivals.

“We strive to make the country an ideal destination for tourists who enjoy the sun, the sand, and water adventures. We are also now promoting Sports, Farm and Faith Tourism,” said Alegre. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora/PNA