The World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have joined together for the sustainable and responsible growth of rural tourism.
As part of restarting global tourism sector, the WTO was engaging in collaboration and closely getting associated with various agencies. And the latest one is the MoU between WTO and FAO. Both the agencies would now collaborate for sharing of knowledge and resources.
WTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili said that the Memorandum of Understanding emphasises the cross-cutting nature of tourism and the importance of cooperation at every level to ensure the sector works for everyone. “Both tourism and agriculture are lifelines for communities around the world. The agreement is particularly timely as it comes as we recognize 2020 as the year of Tourism for Rural Development. This was also the theme of World Tourism Day, which we celebrated this week, highlighting the role tourism must play in providing opportunities for rural communities and driving social and economic recovery.”
As part of the agreement, it would increase the resilience of rural communities against social and economic shocks through growing tourism and making it both more sustainable and inclusive. Across the FAO’s GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems) network of communities, tourism is a leading driver of equality. It gives employment to women and youth and also gives them a stake in economic growth. Tourism is also considered a protector of the rich cultural heritage that characterizes many of the communities within the GIAHS network.
One of the key priorities in the MoU is encouraging entrepreneurship within rural communities, particularly among youth and women, with the aim of providing them with access to both local and global markets for their products. Another priority is fostering education and skills so as to provide communities with opportunities within the tourism sector.