To use tourism as an agent for development and upgrading the global economy, UNWTO alongwith seven UN agencies and programs will promote tourism worldwide as an effective means for fostering developmental changes in a society.

UN plans to create the UN Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD) and the seven agencies supporting the move include the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Trade Centre (ITC), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

By harnessing the strengths and expertise of each agency and creating synergies between UN organizations, the Committee will deliver more coordinated, effective and efficient technical assistance and support to developing countries, UNWTO said in a statement.

One of the first activities of the Committee will be the holding of a Special Tourism Event at the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) to be celebrated in Istanbul, Turkey, 10 May 2011.

The event, ‘Promoting Tourism for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction’, will set the scene for a new international framework for development through tourism, providing the opportunity for LDCs, UN agencies and key players of donor countries and other institutions to find ways to foster tourism for development and create mechanisms for LDCs as they seek to combat poverty, diversify their economies and pursue inclusive growth strategies, UNWTO said.

Tourism is increasingly growing to become as one of the major sources of revenue for many of the world’s developing countries. Sustainable tourism initiatives such as eco-tourism has helped generate employment in many communities and fostered growth.

According to UNWTO, tourism is the first or second source of export earnings in 20 of the 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and is demonstrating steady growth in at least 10 others.