Tourism and culture to work together for sustainability development

Over 800 participants from 70 countries gathered in Muscat, capital city of the Sultanate of Oman on December 11-12, 2017 for the Conference, an official event in the calendar of the International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.
The Conference held under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers of Oman, brought together Ministers of Tourism and Ministers of Culture as well as private sector stakeholders and experts with the objective of building and strengthening partnerships between the tourism and culture sectors and enhance their role in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Muscat reaffirms the commitment to:
1. Strengthen the synergies between tourism and culture and advance the contribution of cultural tourism to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs;
2. Enhance the role of tourism and culture in peace building and heritage protection, especially in conflict affected areas;
3. Promote responsible and sustainable tourism management of cultural heritage;
4. Encourage a creative and innovative approach for sustainable urban development through cultural tourism; and
5. Explore the inter-linkages between culture and nature in sustainable tourism.
“The Sultanate of Oman is richly endowed with many diversified natural resources spread in all governorates of the country, in addition to a rich historic and cultural heritage, which dates back to many centuries in the history of humanity. Our main long term objective is to achieve economic diversification, together with upgrading the direct and indirect contribution of the sector in GDP, provision of direct and indirect employment opportunities for the national labour force, enhancing government revenues, supporting the balance of payments and achieve the highest level of regional development” said Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism of Oman, opening the meeting.
“Two years ago we met in Cambodia for the First UNWTO/Unesco Tourism and Culture Conference. Today am very pleased that we reassume this dialogue here in Muscat. A dialogue that should happen every day around the globe. Yet that often finds itself limited by us living in separate silos”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
“With over 1.2 billion people now crossing international borders each year, tourism represents a golden opportunity to break down barriers of ignorance and prejudice.
It plays an important role as a vehicle for inter-cultural dialogue and, ultimately, peace.”, said Francesco Bandarin, Unesco Assistant Director-General on Culture, in his opening speech, on behalf of UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay. “Unesco and UNWTO are also united in our commitment to tackling the challenges of poverty and development through sustainable tourism.” he added.