The conference was an opportunity to showcase – on a global scale – the action that the Queensland tourism industry is taking towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dr Montesalvo said tourism has the opportunity to play a really pivotal role in addressing some of the global issues we are facing.
“Whether directly or indirectly, the Queensland tourism industry is already contributing to these goals, but there is still work to be done,” she said.
“Whilst our presentation highlighted the awareness and engagement of Queensland tourism operators, a key message was that there are still barriers that are restricting engagement. These include resources, awareness and interpretation of how tourism businesses fit into this global initiative.
“But it is important to highlight that many businesses are already working towards a number of these goals. Through our work on the Building a resilient tourism industry plan we have seen this extent of industry’s commitment to reducing emissions and building business resilience and thereby directing contributing to Goal 13, Climate Action.
“It is action like this that will continue to support a strong Queensland tourism industry.”
Dr Montesalvo said conference themes focused on the importance of partnerships, the role businesses can play and the value of Indigenous operators' engaging particularly across land and sea management.
“Whilst some action is underway, now is the time for action. Collaboration is the key as we work together to reduce inequality and build a stronger future,” she said.
The presentation overviewed the findings from the research conducted early in 2018, the first stage of a study into the awareness and application of the SDGs across the tourism industry. The research fed into the Federal Inquiry into the SDGs and Business and emphasises the need for attention to be paid to the translation of the goals to businesses.
The SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The SDGs interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve each SDG and target by 2030.
For more on the SDGs and our Building a resilient tourism industry: Queensland climiate change response plan visit www.qtic.com.au/sustainability
PHOTO: Griffith University’s Johanna Schliephack and Debbie Cotterell with QTIC’s Dr Natasha Montesalvo at the SDGs4Tourism conference.