The Muscat Declaration on Tourism and Culture: Fostering Sustainable Development was signed by representatives of UNESCO, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), delegations, private sector, local communities and NGOs.
This concluded the two-day World Conference on Tourism and Culture co-organized by UNESCO and the UNWTO and hosted by the Sultanate of Oman.
Through the Declaration, some 30 Ministers and Vice Ministers of Tourism and Culture, and 800 participants from 70 countries, reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the synergies between tourism and culture, and to advance the contribution of cultural tourism to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
The Declaration calls for cultural tourism policies that not only empower local communities, but also employ new, innovative tourism models that advance sustainable development, host-guest interaction, and cultural exchange.
It promotes integrating sustainable cultural tourism and the protection of heritage in national, regional and international security frameworks.
The Declaration also references UNESCO’s 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in relation to these objectives.
Following the first UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture in Cambodia in 2015, this second Conference was part of the official events of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism, so declared by the United Nations.
Istanbul (Turkey) and Kyoto (Japan) will host the 2018 and 2019, editions respectively.