Sue and I had the pleasure to participate in the first UNWTO global wine tourism conference in the Republic of Georgia in 2016 and are excited to take part in the Mendoza conference. I am scheduled to give one of the keynote speeches. My topic will be “Wine Tourism for Sustainable Development: Opportunities, Strategies, Pitfalls.”
The UNWTO has declared 2017 “The Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development,” explicitly linking tourism to the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals. Tourism is a big global business with great potential to contribute to sustainable development if thoughtfully approached and carefully managed. Wine tourism can and does play a role, here, too.
The UNWTO explains it this way:
Tourism is an important driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability. It can make a huge contribution to the global efforts to deliver on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals agreed upon by 193 nations to reduce poverty and foster sustainable development worldwide.
2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IYSTD), an invaluable opportunity to broadcast to a global, high-level audience the potential of our sector to deliver on these universal Goals.
I am looking forward to the opportunity to discuss wine tourism as a path to sustainable development with the elite group who will gather in Mendoza. Mendoza offers fantastic opportunities for wine tourism, of course, but it is important that its benefits are broadly shared to contribute to economic and social development.
One problem with sustainability is that it can be approached in a way that is so vague that everyone agrees that it is important but no one does much to actually achieve it. I think the conference will present an opportunity to drill down into useful specifics and to share concrete examples of success and failure.
Hope to see some of you in Mendoza next month!