2017: International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

We are very proud to share with you our final report and the press release that went out to our press event at IBTM World.  The fact that UNFCCC joined  us to launch this and that the report has support from UNWTO and UNICEF is a huge step forward and shows significant potential to raise the profile of events outside our industry! To find out more, see the links below: 

Find more about un year campaign

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 see the initial Action Plan that aligns with UN Year of Sustainable Tourism plans.

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

  • Provide 2 million education opportunities.
  • 1000 ambassadors for sustainability will be in action inspiring positive change.
  • 2 million examples of sustainability best practice will be shared.
  • 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.

the research

One of our goals for our campaign for the Year of Sustainable Tourism is to produce a research commentary. The commentary will be distributed through industry networks, through NGOs and to the United Nations, with the intention of influencing those who read it and forming the basis of further research. The research will be conducted by 5 university academics who will focus on how four Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be positively impacted by events. The focus will be on Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Gender Equality (SDG 5),, Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12) Climate Action (SDG 13) and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16). This research aims to raise the profile of events and show how they can make a different to the world.



At Positive Impact we want to tell the story of the power of events, highlighting the role of the events within this campaign.  Everyone in the industry is invited to be part of this initiative and opportunities for action include: 

· Sharing examples of sustainability best practice on #CSRshareDay next 21st April to reach the goal of 2 million examples of event sustainability.

· Contributing to the creation of bite sized education so over 20,000 event professionals receive education on key issues from the sustainable development goals to choosing a sustainable destination.

· Becoming one of over 1000 ambassadors championing sustainability in your local market.

If you'd like to get involved throughout 2017, check out our calendar of events and social media channels to follow, here!

Positive Impact exists to create a sustainable event industry,  our goals for the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development are ambitious and will only be achieved with the support of partners around the world. Over the next 12 months we will be collaborating with our supporters and sponsors to capture stories, educate and inspire. We look forward to telling the story of the power 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.

Initial supporters include destinations, associations and corporate planners including: Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors BureauSITE Association (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence), VMWare and Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau.

This is what VMware Global Meetings, Events & Travel group had to say about their reasons for supporting Positive Impact in our campaign for events during the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development: 

"Innovation is in the VMware DNA. It fuels us to be bolder and think more creatively about everything from the digital transformations we enable, to the impact our technologies and actions have on the world.  Our sustainability mission is to leave ahead a better future – to put back more into the environment, society and global economy then we take – and to inspire our employees, customers and partners to do the same. To us, the seemingly impossible is possible. And we work to prove it every day.  Our Definition: 
Leave Ahead- To leave something in a better condition that it was found; pay it forward; to put back more than you take"


For more information about the actions you can take to support our campaign, please see the link below to access our communications toolkit:

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

In just one click you can become a Bronze Sponsor for £500 and get your logo on the website:

Each month we produce a report which is sent to the UN, showing our campaign progress and how we are telling the story of the power of events.

All associations endorsing our campaign 'telling the story of the power of events' during the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, please give us your feedback here, by filling in this short survey:

organisations sponsoring the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development:

Platinum Sponsor:


APRA logo.jpg

Associations endorsing the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development


Media Partners for the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development


so, what's next?
2018 Campaign: Collaborate for Good

Positive Impact is excited to launch their 'Collaborate for Good' campaign for 2018. Check what the campaign is about here and If you are interested in supporting our 2018 campaign please contact or download our sponsorship pack below.