Welcome to this edition of the AVID e-newsletter where we celebrate the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. I would like to acknowledge the Australian volunteers we currently have out in the field that are contributing to sustainable tourism outcomes. Your efforts in supporting communities to consider future economic, social and environmental impacts whilst also meeting the needs of visitors, growing the industry and maintaining cultural and ecological integrity, is valued.
In this edition, we feature some of our volunteers in the Indo-Pacific region who have been working with local tourism agencies and communities to enable participation in the economic opportunities generated by tourism. We also hear from some returned Australian volunteers with their top tips for sustainable travelling.
Australia is committed to sustainable tourism for development, with a shared target of 800 million international tourists by 2025 for APEC economies 1, travel and tourism is a significant sector influencing economic development. Next month Australia will participate in the 51st APEC Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting. The TWG was formed in 1991 to share information, exchange views and develop areas of cooperation in tourism trade and policies.
Through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the TWG, Australia is co-sponsoring a project led by Papua New Guinea that aims to share best practices of voluntourism and its direct impact on local and indigenous communities within the region. This includes reducing adverse impacts and building inclusive societies for sustainable development.
On 19 June 2017, Vietnam hosted the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism. APEC tourism ministers and senior representatives adopted a statement on promoting sustainable tourism for an inclusive and interconnected Asia-Pacific region and enhanced co-operation on sustainable and inclusive development.
Australia also engages as a member in the OECD Tourism Committee and will participate at the upcoming High Level Event on Tourism Policies for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in Paris, 2-3 October 2017. The High Level Meeting will discuss ways to deliver more sustainable and inclusive tourism growth and how a forward-looking, whole-of-government approach to tourism can help achieve this.
The Australian Volunteers program supports government and non-government organisations to develop their approaches to sustainable tourism.
If this edition inspires you to be part of the first cohort of volunteers under the new Australian Volunteers program, please have a look at the new assignments on offer. We have many opportunities across the Indo-Pacific region, including Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and South Africa. We need communications specialists, laboratory technologists, web designers, nurse educators, teacher trainers and many more.
If you would like to stay connected with the new Australian Volunteers program please visit the website australianvolunteers.com.
NGOs and Volunteers Branch
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade