Interlinking tourism and biodiversity, World Tourism Day celebrations in Serbia
“Our task with the Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development programme in Serbia is to prove that the development of tourism can revitalize the villages and diversify their small economies”, said Zoltan Somogy, executive director, UNWTO during the World Tourism Day celebrations in Serbia.
Mr. Somogy, who was one of the key speakers at the “Tourism Flower” award ceremony for best tourism products and services, an annual event in Serbia, praised the joint work between the UN agencies, the Tourism Organization of Serbia and the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development on the “Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development” programme .
This fourteenth “Tourism Flower” award ceremony in Serbia had 14 categories. The winners included: the Tourism Organization of Zlatibor, Rakia Bar, cooperative “Village tourism” as well as the national “Clean Up Serbia” action, which was supported by the Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development programme and staff.
The importance of emphasizing projects such as the “Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development Joint Programme” became particularly significant in the light of the World Tourism Day 2010 theme – “Tourism and Biodiversity”. “Tourism and biodiversity are closely intertwined. The income generated by sustainable tourism can provide important support for nature conservation, as well as economic development”, said Ban Ki Moon, United Nations Secretary- General during the celebrations of the World Tourism Day world-wide.
About the Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development Joint Programme
UN Joint Programme Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development is working towards the diversification of the rural economy through sustainable tourism to improve the quality of life, reduce poverty, and address environmental degradation in rural Serbia. One of the key activities of the programme is the development of the National Rural Tourism Master Plan. Activities of the Programme are implemented in South Banat on the Danube, East Serbia, Central Serbia and Lower Danube.
Five UN agencies, namely FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), and UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) in cooperation with a number of Government of the Republic of Serbia national partners, including the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, and the Tourism Organization of Serbia are implementing the Joint Programme.
The Spanish Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F) is providing 4 million USD for the implementation of the Joint Programme.
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