Each year on the 27th of September WORLD TOURISM DAY is commemorated. For the past 40 years it has summited the power of tourism to touch on almost every part of our societies. This year's theme >Tourism and Rural Development< is very much related to our project SuSTowns.
Sustainable tourism development guidelines and management practices are applicable to all forms of tourism in all types of destinations, including mass tourism and the various niche tourism segments. Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability. (reference: Making Tourism More Sustainable - A Guide for Policy Makers, UNEP and UNWTO, 2005, p.11-12)
Major capacity of tourism is now creating opportunities beyond the big cities and focuses on rural tourism. There is the importance of including a perspective of sustainability when designing strategies to promote tourism in order to guarantee a future that doesn't endanger the charm of the small villages.
It is also very important to offer solutions to a mass tourism, not only as a way of contributing to the sustainability of tourist destinations but also as finding solutions in our near future where the pandemic situation is forcing us to rethink how we can travel, live...
On the other hand SuSTowns project with its pilot project in rural areas provide ideas how to boost the economy which will help us to generate job opportunities, set population and generate economic development. SuSTowns is empowering small businesses by helping to design attractive products that will attract quality tourism on a sustainable scale.
"Tourism helps rural communities hold onto their unique and cultural heritage, supporting conservation projects, including those safeguarding endangered species, lost traditions or flavours. Placing rural development at the heart of tourism policies through education, investment, innovation and technology can transform the livelihoods of millions, preserve our environment and our culture." -ZURAB POLOLIKASHVILI, Secretary-General, UNWTO