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World mayors sign the Porto Declaration on Tourism and the Future of Cities

World mayors sign the Porto Declaration on Tourism and the Future of Cities
09 Jul 2021

The signing of the Porto Declaration marks the conclusion of the UNWTO Mayors Forum for Sustainable Urban Tourism, which was held at Porto Customs, today, 9 July.

The representatives of the cities of Athens, Braga, Brussels, Bruges, Budapest, Dubrovnik, Florence, Ouagadougou, Podgorica, Porto, Prague, Rome, Samarkand, São Vicente, Skiathos, Tirana and Venice; of the Ministry of State, Economy and Digital Transition of Portugal, UN-Habitat, the European Committee of the Regions, the Unión Ciudades Capitales Iberoamericanas, Expedia, CLIA Europe, Must Travel & Tech and Airbnb meeting in Porto, Portugal, on July 9, 2021 on the occasion of the UNWTO Mayors Forum for Sustainable Urban Tourism have signed the Porto Declaration, whose main mission is to establish target goals on the umbrella objective of attaining a sustainable urban tourism.

The world representatives of local government committed to work towards the establishment of an inclusive and more sustainable tourism sector in the cities’ agendas, while fostering job and wealth creation, social inclusion and cultural preservation.

Moreover, the Mayors that gathered in Porto also committed to ensure that urban tourism policies are aligned with the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda, especially as regards the objective of making cities more resilient, inclusive, safe and sustainable. This very thought had already been enhanced during the opening session of the UNWTO Mayors Forum, this morning, by Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira.

The Porto Declaration establishes governance models that ensure full alignment between the governance models and urban policies, underlining the crucial issue of leaving no one behind. Also, the Declaration assumes the fostering of collaboration and strategic partnerships between the private and the public sector, alongside the local stakeholders.

The mayors established, as well, the commitment to building bridges between cities and the most vulnerable rural areas, to boost the most efficient use of resources and reduce gas emissions, without letting go of sustainability based on a sustainable transport that improves mobility, connectivity and social equity.

The environment issue was also referred to in the Porto Declaration to accelerate the double transformation of cities: to become greener and more digital, becoming more resilient to overcome hardship.

Smart cities and cities of the future must build on governance, innovation, technology, accessibility and sustainability.

With all the goals in mind, the signatories, in collaboration with the World Tourism Organisation propose the creation of League of Cities for Sustainable Urban Tourism. In turn, Rita Marques, the Secretary State of Tourism was pleased by the will of cities in "leading by example”, recalling that they are "responsible for a great share of the GDP”.