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 Jordan’s Voluntary National Review 2017, tourism ministers are part of the working group that defines the objectives and actions based on the national Executive Development Programme (EDP) and in alignment with the SDGs, targets and indicators. The working group was formed to ensure better resonance between the national priorities and the SDGs, the composition of the groups was adjusted.
The National Plan for Green Growth sets a roadmap to encourage public and private sector to investment in priority areas such as tourism. For the medium and long-term, the Government has adopted green economy principles and applied them at all levels.
Jordan also hosts a vast number of archaeological sites that serve as important cultural heritage resources for the country. Aside from the renowned tourist attractions and World Heritage Sites, there are numerous lesser known locations that hold unexploited tourism potential if developed sustainably and will present unique opportunities for development in the local community.
However, in Jordan, due to water scarcity, there has always been competition for the limited amount of available water between municipal, agriculture, industrial and tourism sectors, and this could be a challenge for the tourism sector.