The alleviation of poverty is a vital part of ensuring a sustainable future and of creating an equitable world in which the fight against climate change is a priority for all. The cultural sector provides a sustainable economic resource in which communities are empowered in their own economic development.
National economies significantly benefit from the cultural sector. Recent UNESCO Statistics (March 2012) show that in Ecuador, formal and private cultural activities contributed 4.76% to the 2010 GDP and in the same year, 2.64% of the total employed population worked in cultural occupations. Mali’s culture sector accounted for 5.8% of employment in 2004 and 2.38% of GDP in 2006, while in Colombia craft production represents an annual income of roughly 400 million USD, including some 40 million USD in exports.
Promoting sustainable tourism as a sub-sector for investment encourages investment in infrastructure and stimulates local, sustainable development. For example the International Council on Monuments and Sites in Ireland has estimated that every euro invested in heritage returns €300 to €400 to the exchequer. Every four full-time jobs created in the sector generate 10 part-time jobs.