The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), representing thirty of the main donor countries, has included the UNWTO in the List of ODA-eligible International Organizations.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) inclusion of UNWTO in the list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) implies that countries´ financial contributions to the Organization such as membership fees can now be considered Official Development Assistance (ODA), which is funding that aims to progress economic development and welfare in developing countries. The historical decision coincides with the celebration of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly.
The UNWTO’s inclusion in the list with the corresponding decision of celebrating 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development highlights the growing impetus of sustainable tourism and its link to overall development, peace and property which goes in sync with the universal 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Taleb Rifai, the UNWTO secretary-general stated, “This is a strong encouragement to UNWTO’s work in and commitment to advance sustainable, responsible and universally accessible tourism as a major contributor to economic development, environmental and cultural preservation and peace.” Speaking along the same lines during the Himalayan Travel Mart 2017, Taleb Rifai stated, “India needs to realise its sustainable tourism potentials in order to keep up with the global competition and stay relevant in the global tourism market.”