The key to development is sustainability. It is unheard of today to keep talking only in economic terms, when social and environmental components are even more crucial for the success and continuity of the initiatives. We must also think of those coming after us in future generations, because if we do not act with them in mind, we may never get there.
In this regard, tourism plays a clear role that is not seen in other industries, and therefore it is very important to develop sustainable tourism and train and educate future professionals. The University is aware of the importance of tourism as a vehicle for promoting better coexistence and development of the countries of the world.
CONFERENCE AT CAMPUS GANDIA
Precisely with the aim of handing down this vision to new generations of Tourism Managers, the conference “Sustainable Tourism: The role of Institutions and Universities in Sustainable Tourism Development” was held at Campus Gandia of the UPV on May 17, 2016. The event is part of the prelude to the celebration of 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism, in which the UPV is carrying out various activities to promote and raise awareness about sustainable tourism development.
In her opening remarks and welcome to the conference, Rosa Puchades, Vice Rector for Social Responsibility and Cooperation of the UPV, highlighted the role the University is already playing in this field through research and participation in international cooperation projects. Meanwhile, Federico Buyolo, general director of Cooperation and Solidarity for the Generalitat Valenciana, discussed the implementation of the new global agenda for sustainable development promoted by the United Nations and that the Regional Government is implementing.
Highlighting the role of the university, Pepe Pastor, director of Campus Gandia, explained the importance of training conscious and coherent professionals, which the UPV promotes in its undergraduate programs such as Tourism in Gandia.
The presentation made by Shanon Mata, an analyst at the Global Compact Network Spain, a United Nations (UN) initiative, focused on how the private sector could also play an active role in the development and implementation of sustainable actions in different industries. For example, they are working on a project with the World Tourism Organization to support companies in the sector to integrate Sustainable Development Objectives in their agenda.
TOURISM WILL BE SUSTAINABLE OR IT WILL NOT BE
In short, sustainable tourism must involve all the stakeholders, starting with the Administration and the private sector, but especially with local communities and the awareness of tourists.
Tourism has potential that goes beyond being a simple economic sector to develop. It also affects the consciousness of the people visiting and being visited, generating mutual understanding, empathy, solidarity, respect and tolerance, values that are currently in crisis, and that will determine our future economic policies, and therefore our development.
Lidia García, Research Professor at Campus Gandia.
She has worked for FAO, AECID and NGOs, in Latin America and North Africa.