The UNWTO has designated 2020 as a year for Tourism and Rural Development.

It serves to provide an opportunity for the promotion of tourism potential to create jobs and opportunities.
It can also promote inclusion and highlight the unique role tourism can play in the preservation and advancement of natural and cultural heritage and curbing urban migration.
This year World Tourism will be hosted by a group of countries under the auspices of the cross-border cooperation of the MERCOSUR Member States comprising of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile.


The UNWTO through Tourism and Rural Development aim to support governments at various levels, as well as the private sector and the international community in developing tourism in rural territories in a way that contributes to inclusive, sustainable and resilient development.

The sustainability of tourism in rural areas will only be successful if a comprehensive, inclusive planning strategy is adopted and implemented based on a multi-action and multi-stakeholder participatory approach.
The UNWTO Recommendations on Tourism and Rural Development also aim to support governments at various levels, as well as the private sector and the international community in developing tourism in rural territories in a way that contributes to inclusive, sustainable and resilient development.

Tourism and Rural Development” celebrates the sector’s unique ability to drive economic development and provide opportunities outside of big cities, including in those communities that would otherwise be left behind. World Tourism Day 2020 also highlights the important role tourism plays in preserving and promoting culture and heritage all around the world.

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary General says Tourism helps rural communities hold onto their unique natural and cultural heritage, supporting conservation projects, including those safeguarding endangered species, lost traditions or flavours

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