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 Italy’s Voluntary National Review, the tourism sector is seen as an opportunity to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns: Italy will promote the demand and increase the supply of sustainable tourism and will contribute to economic diversification, particularly in rural, mountain and inner areas . to income generation and employment, to sustainable tourism promotion, to urban development and environmental protection, to cultural tourism industry support, and to local handicraft and traditional crafts recovery.
The Government has also approved the 2017 – 2022 Tourism Strategy Plan in February 2017. The Tourism Strategy Plan set guidelines that outline the sector’s development over the next six years. The Plan includes measures to promote technological and organizational innovation, enhancement of skills, the quality of tourism services, as well as the sustainable and long – lasting use of environmental and cultural heritage.
However, biodiversity loss is seen as a threat to tourism. Therefore, prioritising the fight against biodiversity loss, specific preservation, management and conservation actions, and the integration of these objectives into sectoral policies and programmes, including in tourism is crucial.