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 Maldives’s Voluntary National Review 2017, tourism sector is reported to have had a rapid expansion and more than fifth of the employed are engaged in the industry. Thematic analysis in the county shows that fisheries and high end tourism are the main economic drivers in the county, both of the sectors are reliant on the sustainable management and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems.
From its very early stages of development, relevant environmental laws and regulations have been integrated within the tourism sector, making it a model for sustainable tourism. The private sector has also been critical in adopting sustainable consumption and production principles in the tourism sector.
The government is continuously engaging with the tourism sector in promoting environmental protection and stewardship. The government collaborates with various resorts to protect and manage marine areas. Due to the effects of climate change, the government has integrated climate change into development projects, for example, the Tourism Adaptation project (TAP) is aimed at identifying the climate change adaptation measures that will be required for the tourism sector in the coming years.