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.
In Cyprus’s VNR, tourism is reported as a priority area where innovative measures and policies are introduced to support growth, production and the provision of services, including thorough improvements in efficiencies, the reduction of waste and pollution, and the safeguarding of natural capital and ecosystem services.
In the tourism sector, important steps have been taken towards a more sustainable tourism product. Active campaigns have been organised for the promotion of certification instruments, and specifically the Ecolabel, the EMAS and the Green Key, with an increasing number of hotel establishments becoming certified, led by the public sector in cooperation with private initiatives from NGOs and tour operators.
The country has also formulated and implemented an integrated strategy in the tourism sector which includes extension of the maritime sector and infrastructure and modernization of the professional services sector that relate to SDGs 8, 9, 12 and 14.