UNWTO teams up with bank to pursue SDGs

MADRID, 7 October 2019: The EBRD and the UNWTO are joining forces to strengthen sustainable and inclusive tourism as a tool for achieving growth and development.

Under an MoU, signed by EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti and UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili at the UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid, the two institutions pledge to work together to promote tourism, and a achieve the 2030 Agenda and 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The MoU is also aligned with the new property and tourism strategy the EBRD published last week.

In particular, EBRD and UNWTO are looking for ways to strengthen the role of the tourism sector for social, economic and environmental development for regional integration and economic diversification.

Fostering education and training in tourism for job creation and socio-economic inclusion, by adopting the best practices to increase and improve skill sets in the sector, is a key priority for both the EBRD and UNWTO.

The two institutions will strengthen tourism governance and promote policy dialogue at national and regional level on matters of common concern, facilitate investments and advocate for the increase of official development aid flows to the tourism sector, including through UNWTO.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili commented: “Tourism has become a central part of the global sustainable development agenda. Strengthening our partnership with the EBRD will help us drive the sector forward, deliver change in the tourism climate and digital economy and help guide the growth of tourism in a responsible and inclusive manner.”

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said: “Travel and tourism represent a vitally important and fast-growing sector of the global economy, and can benefit poorer, more remote regions, opening up job opportunities, promoting economic inclusion for all and facilitating the transfer of valuable skills. These are all objectives central to the EBRD’s mission.” The EBRD and UNWTO are longstanding partners. In 2015, they signed an agreement in the framework of the EBRD’s commitment for supporting inclusive and sustainable tourism in the economies where the Bank invests, particularly in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region and the western Balkans.