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UNWTO explores sustainable rural tourism opportunities

Agri-tourism has been identified as one of the key drivers in sustaining national economies

High-level speakers from across the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recently held a virtual talk on how to best leverage the tourism sector’s potential to develop rural communities.

Representatives from the two agencies were joined by experts from the European Commission, as well as entrepreneurs from the fields of agri-tourism and gastronomy, including representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Though the tourism sector currently faces many challenges, namely its ongoing recovery from the impact of the pandemic, the sector also offers many opportunities.

There’s a chance of “building back better”, say experts, especially through the involvement of rural communities and youth, in line with the UN’s philosophy behind its 2030 Agenda of leaving no one behind.

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According to Valentina Superti, a director in DG GROW (Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) at the European Commission, recovery from the current global health crisis is already leading to the transformation of the tourism sector. 

Participants in the virtual conference highlighted several areas that would need to be leveraged to accelerate the tourism sector’s transformation, including the creation of more attractive employment opportunities, the development of basic infrastructure and better integration of digital technologies in the ways tourism destinations are managed.

For more information, visit www.unwto.org

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