24 October 2018: The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and UNWTO affiliate member globaldit launched a report on UN Day 2018. The report presents a model for inclusive tourism destinations, focusing on the capacity of tourism to integrate disadvantaged groups and benefit from its activity.

Titled, ‘Global Report on Inclusive Tourism Destinations Model and Success Stories,’ the report notes that the model, and inclusive tourism more broadly, contribute to the achievement of SDGs 8 (decent work and economic growth), 10 (reduced inequalities), 5 (gender equality) and 17 (partnerships for the Goals), among others. It presents a definition for inclusive tourism destinations, and identifies their common attributes, such as: innovation in the tourism value chain; opening up paths for disadvantaged groups to be suppliers, employees and service providers in the sectors; and the creation of conditions that promote relevant actions.

Recognizing the range of destinations’ local context, the model itself, presented in Chapter 4, segments groups according to variables such as age, gender, ability to work or zone in order to prioritize actions such that they leave no one behind. It features a non-exhaustive list of 24 instruments for inclusion, competitive innovation and governance that aim to break down barriers for the groups identified and bridge the “competency gap” that often excludes small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from participating in market activities. The model emphasizes work on three agendas – trust, funding and operations – to build and coordinate networks that meet local needs.

The report provides a valuable reference for all tourism stakeholders in developing best practices for a more inclusive sector.

Chapter 5 outlines how the model contributes to ten of the SDGs as well as the global development agenda as a whole. The ten SDGs are: SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 5, SDG 8, SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), SDG 10, SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and SDG 17. For each of the ten Goals specified, the report identifies actions that align, and lists UN agencies, affiliate organizations, multilateral development banks (MDBs) and other other actors working in the space. For example, on SDG 10, the report notes that the model offers a working framework that allows tourism destinations to move towards equal opportunities and access for disadvantaged groups, also integrating smaller destinations, in line with actions by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UN Women, UNWTO, the World Bank and others.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili underscored that the report serves “as an important tool for the tourism community to create and promote inclusion in destinations, and a valuable reference for all tourism stakeholders in developing best practices for a more inclusive sector.” Its recommendations, a press release emphasizes, contribute to long-term sustainability in the tourism industry. The report highlights the need to foster discussion on the subject and use the model to promote “inclusion that is adaptable, modular and scalable,”

Chapter 6 of the report highlights successful cases from all five UN regions, summarizing actions taken to address inclusivity challenges and the results to date. The Ashoka Foundation, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Google, IE University, PREDIF, the SDG Fund, Airbnb, Vinces, Walhalla DCS and Ekin Consulting contributed to the report. [Publication: Global Report on Inclusive Tourism Destinations Model and Success Stories] [Publication Landing Page] [UNWTO Press Release]