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2017 is the international year of sustainable tourism

by Elena Schöber

The United Nations declared the year 2017 as the „international year of sustainable tourism for development“. This goes hand in hand with the announced global agenda 2030 of the world touristic organisation (UNWTO) which aims on a general change of the political, economic and ecological understanding towards more sustainability.

Goals of UNWTO

Sustainable tourism has, as we especially know, the potential of becoming a significant factor in developing countries. Beyond this background, the UNWTO formulates the following goals:

  • Sustainable economic growth
  • Social inclusion and reduction of poverty
  • Efficient use of resources, protection of the environment and clima
  • Protection of common cultural values and diversity
  • Agreement about common values like peace, safety and human rights

A “Roadmap” lists hereby different activities for authorities and the whole tourism industry to support the defined goals and even travellers themselves are intensified addressed.

Tourism already distributes a major part to the global economy. So is already 10 % of the global GDP directly driven by tourism with an average growth rate of 4 % per year and is already the most important economic sector for many developing countries.

Risks of sustainable tourism

But there is also a flipside to economic growth. There’s no positive significant correlation between tourism and a falling poverty rate. Moreover increasing tourism leads to an increase of the income gap between the rich and the poor. A hotel that pushed out farmers and fishers from their natural habitat mainly hurts them, also when the hotel is led by sustainable concept afterwards. For this reason the organisation “Brot für die Welt” demands a general improvement in the cooperation with the local inhabitants. There has to be change in the way of thinking, leaving growth as a main goal behind, focusing on social and actually sustainable tourism. And that’s exactly what we from Boutiquehotel Stadthalle are aiming for.


Quite often mass-tourismus which is often called “sustainable”, destroys the fragile environment and their biodiversity, increases the costs of living for the local communities and ends in a overall economic degradation. Especially in this international year of sustainable tourism we have to learn from former mistakes and change our money-focused thinking into an awareness of “wrong” sustainable tourism. So that sustainable tourism can be actually sustainable for the nature as well as for the local population.

We think it’s amazing that there is an international year of sustainable tourism and actually LIVE sustainability in our hotel consistently and with a lot of heart. That’s why we will make the greatest possible contribution as every year, to save our beautiful nature and to make people in it happy

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