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The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is a United Nations organization whose primary mission is to encourage responsible, affordable, and globally accessible tourism (UNWTO, 2013). It is the world's largest tourism agency, and it promotes tourism as a catalyst of inclusive change, environmental sustainability, and economic growth. Furthermore, it provides assistance and leadership to the tourism industry in terms of promoting expertise and tourism policies internationally. Since the United States is one of the world's leading economies, she should reconsider reinstating funding and joining the UNWTO. The United States has a vested interest in climate change, which has an impact on environmental sustainability. Therefore, their funding to the UNWTO will go a long way in ensuring a sustainable environment for tourism development. In addition, many people visit the US on a yearly basis which earns the country foreign exchange. As such, it will be prudent to get back to the tourism organization and contribute towards its growth and development. Some of the broad efforts of UNWTO include facilitation of tourist travel, promoting sustainable tourism development, and tourism and development.
Facilitation of Tourist Travel
Travel facilitation of tourist travel is an aspect of tourism development which can foster international understanding, job creation, generate economic development, and increased demand for complementary services (UNWTO, 2013). Such strategies will go a long way in promoting exports and economic growth. It is therefore wise for the US to reinstate its funding and join the organization as it will ultimately help promote other economies. Since the US is a developed country, it will help nurture other growing economies by exchanging goods and service, technology for economic development. Such a move will not only help to create more employment opportunities but will also open other markets for the US goods. At the end, they will earn foreign exchange and harbor good relationship between member countries.
Promoting Sustainable Tourism Development
Tourism activities is a major conduit of promoting development. Developing countries usually face fragility in their social, human, economic, and natural environments which can jeopardize tourism dynamism and beneficiary qualities (UNWTO, 2013). Since the US is one of the leading polluters of the environment, they should fund UNWTO so that those resources can help in implementing policies for reducing pollution. By contributing to the kitty, they will help fight environmental degradation which affects tourism tremendously. Moreover, sustainable tourism development requires formulation of policies and ensure their successful implementation. The US is one of the advanced economies in terms of expertise, they will bring additional experience which will be very instrumental in ensuring that formulated policies are fair to all.
Tourism and Development
Through tourism, communities have been able to gain milestone in the development of their economies. When tourists visit a particular area, the residents benefit by providing care, entertainment, and renting out their facilities. When the US will rejoin the UNWTO, they will cultivate goodwill among their citizens to visit other member countries. Ultimately, the economies of those countries will grow, the US citizens will get an opportunity to diversify their culture and promote the economic growth of those societies. The US contribution will also help in promoting tourism opportunities in other developing countries. Many more people will not only get to learn about other interesting features in other countries but also expand their knowledge of the global culture.
Benefits of Tourism Planning
According to UNWTO, tourism is growing and growing very fast. In 2012, the number of international visitors surpassed one billion people and is expected to surpass 1.8 billion by 2030 (UNWTO, 2013). Therefore, the observation by Wheeler about the rapid growth of tourism is true. With this in mind, many countries are out, marketing their natural features and heritage as the best tourists' attraction sites without making adequate preparations to accommodate the growth. Furthermore, as suggested by UNWTO, the number of tourists is growing rapidly and thus need adequate planning to offer long-lasting answers. I, therefore, agree with Wheeler for countries to carry out tourism planning to enhance tourism benefits and minimize negative externalities in the society. This requires continuous management and planning process that evolves and assessable over time.
Increased number of tourists in a community without adequate planning can adversely affect the society. For example, poorly constructed coastal tourism are prone to hurricanes. Additionally, areas like the Caribbean are importing food as opposed to exporting like in the past (Pattullo, 2005). In Cancun areas, there is a diversion of water supply from the local communities to serve tourist resorts. Additionally, there is increased conflicts with indigenous cultures and land ownership as well as waste and pollution problems. Increased number of tourist in a locally also contribute to increased energy consumption which results in carbon emissions. With the mentioned challenges associated with rapid growth in tourism, it is prudent to have adequate planning to save our societies.
As much as tourism is contributing to economic wellbeing in the society, planning will help reduce adverse effects that come as a result of increased number of visitors in the locality. For instance, there is need to take initiative to save water bodies and choking of the biodiversity. Local organizations, individuals, and governments can work together to make the environment habitable and sustainable. From such initiative, tourism boards of different states, and governments must have strategies to clean up the environment regularly. This will help make tourism sustainable in the long run but not just promote tourism without having policies to counter its effects.
Local governments must also put mechanisms in place to increase food production so as not to turn from exporters to importers as in the case of the Caribbean. Further, when local resources are diverted to cater for the interest of tourists, then, in the long run, the society will perceive tourists as enemies since they get more preference in terms of resource allocations and basic amenities such as water. When such moves continue, then the rapid growth of tourism will just collapse. In addition, tourists visit some areas due to cultural heritage and natural resources they possess. And when local cultures are diluted due to excess visits and destruction of natural habits, then tourism is are on the brink of falling flat. On that note, every country must have adequate plans to manage the environment and makes sure that the available resources can meet the demand at all times.
Growth Domestic Product
Economic growth in every society is associated with economic advancement and progress (Neumayer, 2005). Overall, economic growth is the rise in capacity of an economy to produce goods and services within a specified time. In economics, economic growth is the long-term expansion in the productivity potential of an economy to meet the requirements of its residents. The sustained economic growth of a country contributes to growth in national income and the level of employment. Therefore, the four pillars of Growth National Happiness (GNH) has the potential to spur long-term growth in Bhutan. The pillars of GNH can promote economic growth in the following ways;
According to Soubbotina (2004), sustainable development is the ability to meet the current needs of the residents of a country without compromising future generations' ability to meet their needs. Intrinsically, sustainable development advocates for environmental protection and development. As such, sustainable development has the goal of meeting the present needs with the overall goal of long-term sustainability. Ideally, sustainable development advocates for improving the quality of life in both the short-term and the long-term. It also bases its foundation on democracy and the rule of law. Additionally, sustainable development promotes employment, social cohesion, education, and human health that are foundations of growing the GDP.
Preservation of the Environment
In every economy, environment management is to towards growth and development. Preserving the environment will ensure that the current economic activities are not interrupted which may hurt the economy. Additionally, preserving the environment will ensure that resources are not diverted towards meeting needs that could be avoided. For example, preserving forests will ensure that there is sufficient rain to support agricultural services which contributes a lot to the GDP of developing economies. Therefore, preserving the environment help in promoting of economic development activities of Bhutan. Growth in the economy has a direct impact on the country's GDP in the long term.
Preservation of Culture
The Cultural heritage of Bhutan is an economic resource that has the ability to promote long-term economic development, and ultimately the GDP. Culture is one of the factors that attract tourist to a particular place, therefore, when such culture is preserved, then more tourists will be streaming in to witness and embrace such cultures. In most developing economies, tourism is the main source of foreign exchange. There are many cultural centers, hotels, and transport providers who benefit from tourism, courtesy of the preserved culture. It is therefore important for Bhutan to preserves her culture as it contributes to the GDP of the country, both in the short-run and in the long-run.
Good governance is a precondition for economic development. Neumayer (2005) observes that quality governance plays a very significant role in ensuring the growth of a country's GDP. When quality governance is in place, it will form the foundations of establishing strong institutions which is a recipe for economic growth. Strong institutions will advocate for equitable distribution of Bhutan's national resources and avail the required amenities to promote development. Notably, corruption and controlled judicial system weaken the fabric of governance which exposes countries to mismanagement and looting of public properties. It is, therefore, necessary to strengthen institutions of a country to realize sustainable development.
Neumayer, E. (2005). The pattern of aid giving: the impact of good governance on development assistance. Routledge.
Pattullo, P. (2005). Last resorts: The cost of tourism in the Caribbean. NYU Press.
Soubbotina, T. P. (2004). Beyond economic growth: An introduction to sustainable development. World Bank Publications.
UNWTO Annual Report 2013. Retrieved on December 7, 2017 from http://cf.cdn.unwto.org/sites/all/files/pdf/unwto_annual_report_2013_0.pdf
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