The UNWTO and UNDP recently issued an analysis of country and company reports on sustainability initiatives in tourism. Their report shows where the most activity has occurred and where opportunities lie for the industry to address the SDGs. There is a lot to unpack in this report, but I want to hone in on one concept: the role of small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
“…the private sector – particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which represent the bulk of the tourism sector – must be sensitized and given access to knowledge and capacity, including in new technologies that encourage investment in greener and more sustainable businesses…[SMEs] often lack awareness of how efforts and investment in sustainable business operations can also significantly boost competitiveness and profitability, while increasing customer and host community satisfaction” (p. 13).
Read the full article to find out more about reasons why many SMEs are not sustainable and possible solutions here.