UN Tourism joins hands with EU to propel rural tourism

Addressing depopulation, inequality & socio-economic development
2024-04-16
/
/ New Delhi
UN Tourism joins hands with EU to propel rural tourism
UN Tourism joins hands with EU to propel rural tourism

The report showcases the potential of rural tourism to contribute to the resilience of regional and local communities

UN Tourism has partnered with the European Committee of the Regions to conduct a collaborative study aimed at promoting rural tourism to drive economic diversification.
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UN Tourism and the European Committee of the Regions, an organisation of the European Union, have joined hands to conduct a thorough analysis of the substantial influence and potential of tourism in promoting socioeconomic development in rural areas.

According to a press statement by UN Tourism, the report showcases the potential of rural tourism to contribute to the resilience of regional and local communities, addressing challenges such as depopulation, inequality and limited access to basic services..

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili

Zurab Pololikashvili

“Tourism has the potential to transform societies, stimulate local economic development, and empower local communities. This joint study with the European Committee of the Regions underscores the importance of rural tourism in contributing to sustainable development in Europe,” says Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of UN Tourism.

Key findings of the report underline that rural tourism has, despite global challenges, witnessed a surge in popularity. This resilience underscores its potential as a robust economic driver and showcases its ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

The statement adds that a key insight is the potential of rural tourism to drive economic diversification and job creation in rural areas. Rural tourism is seen as a bridge between tradition and modernity, fostering community participation and sustaining local services while preserving the unique identity of rural regions.

The study identifies challenges faced by rural areas, such as inadequate infrastructure, limited financial resources and declining local populations. Simultaneously, by providing a nuanced understanding of the complexities involved, the report sets the stage for sustainable rural tourism development, urging stakeholders to navigate challenges thoughtfully.

Suggesting a roadmap towards navigating the problems, UN Tourism says that there must be integration of rural value chains in tourism. There is a need for collaboration between businesses and stakeholders to create synergies within the local economy for sustainable development trajectory for rural tourism.

Recognising the digital divide in rural areas, the report recommends a focused effort on improving digital connectivity. It underscores the importance of digital skills development to empower rural stakeholders in leveraging technology effectively. By addressing these aspects, the report aims to enhance the digital readiness of rural communities, unlocking new opportunities in the digital era.

In alignment with consumer trends and sustainable practices, the report encourages responsible travel initiatives, that not only meet changing consumer expectations but also contribute to broader sustainability goals. This recommendation positions rural tourism as a catalyst for positive environmental and social impact.

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