Prosperity through connectivity: Tourism and regional sustainable development
This panel will examine the impact of increased connectivity on tourism growth and sustainable development. Specifically, it will showcase examples of where tourism has increased as a result of improving connectivity. Tourism has experienced steady growth in the last decade and this trend is expected to continue, with an average annual increase of 3.3% in international tourism forecast by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Improved transport connectivity facilitates more tourism, especially in remote areas and on islands. Yet unchecked growth in the number of visitors can bring negative impacts such as depleting resources, increasing CO2 emissions, and higher living costs for people residing in the area. Tourists also have different mobility needs from those of residents, and peaks in tourist traffic can disrupt services for locals.
- How can tourism support local economies (e.g., agro- tourism, small- and medium-sized enterprises, local products)?
- Can the mobility needs of tourists and local residents align?
- How can sustainable tourism deal with the problem of seasonal peaks?
Head of the Regional Development and Tourism Division
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)