World Tourism Day Forum Recognizing 2017 as the the UN's International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

September 27, 2017, Washington, DC

The CREST/UN Environment forum was designed to showcase the importance of the UN’s declaration of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This invitation-only, day-long event took place on World Tourism Day, September 27, 2017, at the UN Foundation in Washington, DC.

The event featured panels covering the five key areas identified by the UNWTO for this international year. Each one-hour panel was moderated by a well-known journalist and included two presenters giving exemplary and inspiring case studies. In their 8-10 minute talks, presenters showed short videos of their work and reflected on both their successes and challenges. Case studies were drawn from North America, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The journalist/moderator for each panel ensured ample time for audience discussion after each set of presentations.


Below, we offers links to written versions of presentations as well as videos and/or PowerPoints they shared with 140 attendees.

Keynote Address

Panel 1 - Social inclusiveness, employment, and poverty reduction

Panel 2 - Inclusive and sustainable economic growth

Panel 3 - Resource efficiency, environmental protection, and climate change

Panel 4 - Cultural values, diversity, and heritage

Panel 5 - Mutual understanding, peace, and security

Closing Remarks

View the full forum program.

Image Source: Mike Robbins


Image Source: Mauricio Miramontes


  • The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics 2017

    CREST's 2017 annual meta-analysis is a special edition, structured around the UNWTO's five pillars of the UN's International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development: 1) inclusive and sustainable economic growth; 2) social inclusiveness, employment, and poverty reduction; 3) resource efficiency, environmental protection, and climate change adaptation and mitigation; 4) respect for cultural values, diversity, and heritage; and 5) mutual understanding, peace, and security. The report highlights the need for success of tourism to be measured in increased retention of tourism revenue in the destination and the equitable distribution of tourism earnings to better economic, social, and environmental conditions.

    The report was prepared in collaboration with 25 leading tourism organizations and institutions: UN Environment, Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Rainforest Alliance, Travel+Social Good, the Ocean Foundation, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Tourism Cares, International Institute of Peace Through Tourism (IIPT), the Travel Foundation, Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO),, Skal International, Gender Responsible Tourism, Sustainable Travel International, Global Wellness Institute, Destination Stewardship Center, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), Kind Traveler, East Carolina University, Michigan State University, George Washington University's International Institute of Tourism Studies, and Purdue University.

    View Executive Summary
    View Report

    Sustainable Tourism Initiatives and Resources

    Throughout the tourism industry, there are many initiatives and advocacy campaigns that promote best practices, codes of conduct, and certification programs, all designed to help deepen our understanding of, and commitment to, sustainable travel. CREST with the assistance of UN Environment have produced a resource package for attendees of this Sustainable Tourism Forum that contains valuable information for tourism-related businesses and travelers. This directory has fact sheets on a multitude of topics including: cultural heritage preservation, local employment & fair wages, marine litter, food waste, the illegal trade in wildlife, and more.

    View Resource Directory

    CREST Books on Climate Change and Coastal & Marine Tourism in the Caribbean:

    • Coastal Tourism, Sustainability, and Climate Change in the Caribbean, Volume I: Beaches and Hotels
    • Coastal Tourism, Sustainability, and Climate Change in the Caribbean, Volume II: Supporting Activities
    • Marine Tourism, Climate Change, and Resilience in the Caribbean, Volume I: Ocean Health, Fisheries, and Marine Protected Areas
    • Marine Tourism, Climate Change, and Resilience in the Caribbean, Volume II: Recreation, Yachts, and Cruise Ships
    • View Book Descriptions & Purchase