TUI Care Foundation and UNWTO Announce Tourism Development Fund for Least Developed Countries
The TUI Care Foundation and the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently announced the launch of a Tourism for Development Fund for the sustainable tourism development of Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
According to the United Nations, sustainable tourism has the potential to be a key driver of development in many LDCs, contributing to economic growth, community development, intercultural dialogue, and environmental conservation.
Through the Tourism for Development Fund, supported by the UNWTO, the TUI Care Foundation will drive positive outcomes in education, local entrepreneurship, support for artisans and creatives, and the protection of natural habitats on land and below water.
The TUI Care Foundation through the fund will invest 10 million euros by 2030 to support projects in targeted LDCs including Cambodia, Lao, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, the Gambia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
The fund will particularly focus on dual vocational training for disadvantaged communities, the conservation of endangered species, sustainable agriculture, protection of marine environments, empowering local entrepreneurs, creatives, and artisans, and promoting sustainable investment.
“Least developed countries have an enormous untapped tourism potential which is an important opportunity for their economic, social, and environmental sustainability,” said Chairman of the TUI Care Foundation Thomas Ellerbeck.
On his part, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said the UNWTO and TUI Care Foundation will provide “vital investment” for tourism.
According to Pololikashvili, the two bodies will work directly with local stakeholders to deliver on the tourism sector’s “unique potential to spur economic development, protect culture and ecosystems, and put emerging destinations on the global tourism map”.
More specifically, in order to support the Tourism for Development Fund, the UNWTO will provide a platform to advance the initiative, invite funders to join and support calls for proposals, liaise with member states from LDCs and international organizations for further coordination, and jointly organize a series of events that promote the potential of sustainable tourism in LDCs.
The call for proposals will be published via UNWTO and TUI Care Foundation on a regular basis for non-profit organizations and social enterprises to apply to the Tourism For Development Fund.
The Tourism for Development Fund is a big step forward in building a more sustainable sector, as funding will be directed where it will make the biggest difference, allowing communities in LDCs to take the lead in the development of tourism as a driver of opportunity and a tool to protect and celebrate cultural and natural heritage.
The announcement of the Tourism for Development Fund was made during the recent fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), which takes place every decade.
Founded by leading tour operator TUI, the TUI Care Foundation is an independent charitable organisation based in the Netherlands. Building on the potential of tourism as a force for good, the foundation supports and initiates projects, which create new opportunities and contribute to thriving communities in tourism destinations all over the world.