On February 24, during the 2022 Xianghu Dialogue held in Hangzhou, the World Tourism Alliance and International Poverty Reduction Center in China jointly released the WTA Best Practices in Rural Revitalization through Tourism 2022, a collection of 50 selected best practices.
It’s learned that in cooperation with International Poverty Reduction Center in China, the WTA solicited 137 best practices via the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, the National Rural Revitalization Administration, its member units, provincial culture, and tourism departments, etc., and then selected 50 out of them after considering their quantifiable effects, originality, reproducibility, positive social impact, sustainability and material integrity. These practices all made useful attempts in targeted assistance, regional cooperation, governance mechanism reform, culture and tourism integration, talent attraction, green development, digitalization, etc., with outstanding contributions to poverty alleviation, entrepreneurship and employment, improving living standards, and promoting local economic growth, and thus provide inspirations worth learning for global poverty eradication and development in all respects.
Since its establishment, the WTA has positioned itself as an advocate and practitioner of poverty reduction through tourism, and considered it one of its three core missions, contributing its wisdom and energy to global poverty reduction. From 2018 to 2022, the Alliance collected 100 best practices in poverty reduction through tourism and another 100 in rural revitalization through tourism from around the world. Based on in-depth analysis, summary and research of these practices, it has developed guidelines and models for poverty reduction worth learning. The Best Practices in Rural Revitalization through Tourism released in 2021 was recommended by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism as one of the 50 activities to mark the 50th anniversary of China’s restoration of its lawful seat in the United Nations.
According to Liu Shijun, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the Alliance, poverty eradication is the No.1 goal of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The tourism industry, with its low employment threshold, quick economic gains, strong stimulus to other industries, and huge social and cultural benefits, has been included in the rural development strategy by many governments. In many countries, the development of rural tourism has transformed traditional rural economy, providing for the poor, improved the living environment and increased farmers’ income. With the recovery of global tourism, rural tourism will play an increasingly important role in promoting poverty alleviation and rural revitalization, and driving regional economic and social development. The Alliance will continue to uphold the mission of “promoting peace, development, and poverty reduction through tourism,” unite global poverty alleviation efforts, promote relevant social welfare undertakings, and continue to move forward to the vision of “Better Tourism, Better Life, Better World.”
In recent years, via the WTA platform, China’s practices in poverty alleviation through tourism have received extensive praise United Nations system. Mr. Castro Salazar, Assistant Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, once highly praised and supported China in promoting its practices in poverty reduction through tourism, many of which happened in FAO-certified Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System sites and have made important contributions to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.