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 Portugal’s Voluntary National Review 2017, tourism is seen as an opportunity to diversify economic activities and entrepreneurship promotion. In the framework of the European Structural and Investment Funds, the integrated approach to territorial development is achieved through the community-led local development, which puts the focus on the central role of the agricultural sector for local development. Therefore, according to the VNR, there is need to support diversification of on- farm activities such as tourism. This is linked with the country's effort in the renewal of traditional villages, the promotion of quality products and the development of short supply chains and local markets as a means to facilitate market for small producers.
In the context of promoting the diversification of the economy and the creation of jobs in rural areas, the country also highlights the promotion of traditional products, often associated with protected areas and the production of environmental services and amenities of leisure and recreation.