The recognition of the role of tourism in sustainable development and the emphasis placed in the SDGs on the development of public policies for sustainable tourism is a landmark breakthrough that provides a unique opportunity for all governments to create a sound and favourable policy foundation.
The first two years of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda have shown that countries are making headway in aligning national strategies, adapting institutional frameworks and adjusting policies to realize the SDGs.
The countries’ efforts have been reported in the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), presented by UN Member States during the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in 2016 and 2017.
Colombia’s Voluntary National Review 2016 reported that the country’s tourism sector has grown more than the national economy. The positive evolution of security and the exploitation of ecotourism potential of the regions has contributed to make tourism a viable economic alternative for the regional population, contributing to the development of a new sustainable economy that contributes to peace in the post-conflict era.
Tourism is also highlighted as one of the principle drivers for the new economy characterised by green growth and less dependent on the extraction of non-renewable resources. However, the tourism sector employs a small but growing proportion of the country's economically active population, there is a much more significant participation of women compared to men.
With regard to climate change adaptation, each ministry (including the ministry of industry and tourism) has to formulate and implement its own adaptation plan in its respective sector.
Colombia considers target 8.9. "By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products" as a mean to create decent work and economic growth, which, together with SDG 1 - No Poverty, and 3 - Good Health and Well-being, should help to address climate change.