The UNWTO Awards & the SDGs

Since its creation in 2003, the UNWTO Awards have been acknowledging the inspiring work of visionaries who, through their efforts and dedication, have fostered the development of sustainable initiatives and highlighted tourism’s potential to help transform our world into a place of prosperity and well-being for all.

With the right policies in place, tourism has indeed the immense power to contribute to gender equality, the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, the protection of natural and cultural heritage, and bring solutions to many other pressing challenges our world is facing today. In addition, an inclusive and participatory tourism can spur dialogue, foster mutual understanding and support efforts toward building a culture of peace.

Recognizing the above, the UNWTO Awards, through its different evaluation criteria, recognize today the social and ethical impact of every project as a crucial component in the evaluation process, encompassing a much larger scope than at the beginning of this adventure which primarily focus on innovation and excellence. These new dimensions take also full significance in the context of the International Year for Sustainable Tourism Development, and the decisive role that tourism can have in the contributing to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In line with this, most of the selected projects are clear examples of inspirational civic behaviors and certainly open the way for the development of inclusive tourism by offering great solutions to engage the local community, empower women, enhance the cultural identity and promote dialogue through tourism.

 Against this framework, the below projects stand out for their examplary contribution to the SDGs:


1. Eradicating poverty - SDG 1

2. Quality education – SDG 4

3. Gender equality and women empowerment – SDG 5

4. Eco-friendly practices (SDG 6, SDG 7, SDG 13)

5. Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11)

6. Wildlife protection (SDG 12 & 13)

7. Economic development (SDG 8)

Routes the Coffee Cultural Landscape, Chamber of Commerce in Armenia, Quindío (Colombia) (11th UNWTO Awardee)

8. Innovation (SDG 9)

9. Alliances & Partnerships (SDG 17)


Useful links

Tourism & the SDGs 
nternational Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development