2017: International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has approved the adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The resolution, adopted on 4th December, recognises: 

“the importance of international tourism, and particularly of the designation of an international year of sustainable tourism for development, in fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere, in leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilisations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world”.


Cordula Wohlmuther, Head of of Institutional Relations and Resource Mobilisation said, 

"The reach of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism is vast and we are happy to work with partners like Positive Impact who will not only inspire initiatives for sustainability to be taken in the event sector, but also tell the story of the difference those initiatives will make".

With the value of the event industry in Europe alone estimated at $1.59 trillion*, events have the opportunity to influence the supply chain of tourism and customer behaviour of tourists themselves. The largest association for meetings, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) says,

"When we meet we change the world".

This message represents the power events have to bring people together to create, collaborate and innovate to create a world that works for everybody. It is this power gives events the ability to change the future and makes events a vital part of reaching the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.


For information on the work Positive Impact did to create the partnership for the International Year of Sustainable Tourism (YOST) see the initial Action Plan that aligns with UN YOST plans.

100% of sponsorship accumulated will be spent on achieving the following goals during 2017:

  • 20 partners will share education on events sustainability with over 20,000 event professionals.
  • 1000 ambassadors for sustainability will be in action inspiring positive change.
  • 2 million event professionals will share their best practice sustainability initiatives.
  • Research on the social, economic and environmental impacts of business, sports and cultural events will be used at a global government level.
  • 10 examples of how events address global challenges including climate action and reducing inequalities will be shared.


Positive Impact's CEO Fiona Pelham said, 
“Positive Impact exists to create a sustainable event industry however these goals are ambitious and will only be achieved with the support of partners around the world. Over the next 12 months we look forward to telling the story of the impact of events from the destination that offers beach clean-up team building activities to their business delegates, to the venues that donate their food waste from their sporting events, to the event organisers who choose their suppliers based on their innovative approach to sustainability.”

To find out more information on how to be involved as a Sponsor or an Event Association see the links below: