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Declaration: Advancing Tourism's Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

G20 Tourism Ministers' Meeting
Kutchan, Hokkaido, Japan, 26 October 2019

We, Ministers of Tourism of the G20 member countries, and invited countries (Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and Vietnam) met under Japan's G20 Presidency, alongside the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in Kutchan, Hokkaido, Japan on October 26, 2019,

Recalling that,

  1. tourism accounts for an estimated 10.4% of the world's GDP, considering its direct, indirect and induced impacts (WTTC, 2019) and the tourism sector accounts directly for 3% of the GDP of the G20 economies (UNWTO, 2019);
  2. globally, tourism represents one of the fastest growing and resilient economic activities – forecasts indicate that tourism will experience sustained growth in the coming years, reaching 1.8 billion international tourist arrivals in 2030, up from 1.4 billion in 2018 (UNWTO, 2019);
  3. global exports from international tourism, including passengers' transport, reached US$ 1.7 trillion in 2018 worldwide (7% of total exports) and, US$ 1.2 trillion in the G20 economies (6% of all G20 exports) (UNWTO, 2019);
  4. tourism exports generate bigger impacts on the domestic economy than overall exports; on average, across countries, 1 US$ of tourism export (non-resident expenditure) results in 89 cents in domestic value added and 11 cents in foreign value added (OECD, 2019);
  5. tourism is one of the main sectors driving economic integration and socio-economic development;
  6. tourism, a labour-intensive service sector, is estimated to account for 1 in 10 jobs in the world or approximately 319 million jobs (direct, indirect and induced impacts) (WTTC, 2019) and 6% of the direct jobs in the G20 economies (UNWTO, 2019);
  7. tourism creates jobs for people of all ages and skill levels, not only within the sector, but throughout its entire value chain in many other sectors, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail, handicrafts, cultural and creative industries, financial services, information and communication technologies;
  8. one job in the tourism sector is estimated to create about one and a half additional or indirect jobs in other sectors (ILO, 2017) and tourism accounts for a higher share of women's employment and entrepreneurship as compared to the whole economy;
  9. the growth of tourism also creates important challenges in terms of the preservation and use of natural resources, environmental and climate impacts, bio-diversity, socio-cultural impacts, infrastructure, mobility, working conditions and labour markets security, congestion management and the relationship with host communities;
  10. tourism plays a significant role in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely in SDG 8:

    'Decent Work and Economic Growth'; SDG 12: 'Responsible Consumption and Production; and SDG 14: 'Life Below Water', and that tourism's cross-cutting nature positions it well to contribute to all 17 SDGs;
  11. tourism is a driving force for social inclusion with the potential to advance employment and economically empower groups which are more vulnerable to social and economic risks including, but not limited to, women, young people, persons with disabilities, migrants, indigenous and tribal peoples, and rural populations;
  12. tourism is a sector made up mostly of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with low barriers to entry, providing major opportunities for young and female entrepreneurial talent and for integrating SMEs and start-ups into the value chain;
  13. the geographic distribution of tourism promotes job creation and entrepreneurship, supporting employment in rural areas and regional development;
  14. digital transformation and new technologies have accelerated the growth and integration of tourism, providing new opportunities to advance market access, operational efficiency, job creation and entrepreneurship while presenting several challenges, particularly in terms of skills gaps, local labour markets or shortage of investment;
  15. new technologies in the field of mobility and urban development have the potential to contribute significantly to more flexibility of both tourists and residents, and enhance their experiences, accessibility and overall quality of life.

Taking into consideration,

  1. the main objective of the G20 to promote "strong, sustainable and balanced growth";
  2. the objectives of the Japanese G20 Presidency to "lead global economic growth by promoting free trade and innovation, achieving both economic growth and reduction of disparities, and contributing to the development agenda and other global issues with the SDGs at its core" and to "promote a free and open, inclusive and sustainable", "human-centered future society";
  3. the UN General Assembly resolution 70/1 of 25 September 2015 on Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which adopts the 17 SDGs;

and the G20 Osaka Leaders' Declaration, which states that G20 members will work to maximize the tourism sector's contribution in employment, economy, environmental protection and inclusive and sustainable development, Tourism Ministers of G20 member countries agree to work towards:

  1. promoting efforts, in each country, regarding tourism's paragraph in the G20 Osaka Leaders' Declaration;
  2. promoting that tourism can contribute to the 17 SDGs by integrating and engaging tourism in the national agendas and processes related to the implementation of the SDGs;
  3. encouraging the joint work of the UNWTO and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on the development of a toolkit to evaluate the contribution of tourism to the SDGs, and expecting that this will be completed and widely used from next year;
  4. based on the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, making efforts in the field of tourism to protect tourism destinations and local communities through the G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter;
  5. welcoming reports on women's empowerment through tourism by international organizations such as the UNWTO, UN Women, the World Bank and WTTC, and encouraging actions in each country's initiative based on the agreement on women's empowerment in the G20 Osaka Leaders' Declaration, referring to the actions (Annex 1);
  6. encouraging high quality infrastructure investment in the field of tourism and related fields based on the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment;
  7. strengthening the resiliency of tourism in G20 member countries through international cooperation and taking voluntary measures including sharing of best practices in crisis management and crisis communication during and in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters and external shocks (Annex 2);
  8. fostering public-private sector partnerships and promoting governance models that integrate the public and private sectors, entrepreneurs, local communities as well as academics in sustainable tourism development;
  9. encouraging responsible tourism in which people experience unique nature and culture in local areas and promoting benefit sharing with local communities for the protection of nature and culture, and encouraging travelers to visit diverse destinations to revitalize local economies and improve sustainability of the tourism destination;
  10. encouraging policies that promote human capital development and inclusive labour markets that facilitate innovation and foster the creation of sustainable enterprises and decent jobs, including among women and youth, and promoting cooperation in tourism vocational training and a human-centred approach to the future of work;
  11. making full use of the digital transformation to improve the visitor experience, market intelligence and access, and collection and sharing of data, to promote safety and security and travel facilitation, to foster effective visitor management and to support the development of SMEs, including their uptake of new technologies, digital skills and access to finance;
  12. encouraging efforts for the introduction of the initiative Towards a Statistical Framework for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism (MST) led by UNWTO, and advancing the measurement of sustainable tourism through international standards and the use of new technologies to monitor and measure tourism's impacts and ensure evidence-based policy and decision making, planning and management of destinations;
  13. establishing favourable framework conditions for a conducive business environment, stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship and creating networks by linking start-ups, major companies, investors and governments along the tourism value chain;
  14. encouraging G20 Leaders to consider institutionalizing the Tourism Ministers Meeting as an official G20 Ministers Meeting to maximize the potential of tourism to support economic growth, job creation, resiliency, inclusion and sustainability; and,
  15. advancing these overarching initiatives through collective G20 member state engagement with the UNWTO, OECD, the ILO and other organizations toward achievement of these objectives.

The G20 member states wish to express appreciation to the Government of Japan for their leadership in advancing the tourism agenda in the G20 framework and express our appreciation to Saudi Arabia for its gracious invitation to host the G20 Tourism Ministers' Meeting as the official G20 ministerial meeting in 2020.

Kutchan, Hokkaido, October 2019

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Source: Japan Tourism Agency

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