Pope Francis tweeted today: We effectively do good when we do it without seeking reward and in the concrete situations of everyday life.


“Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development.”

The official celebration of World Tourism Day 2017, organized by the UNWTO, will take place in Doha, Qatar, on September 27, 2017 on the theme “Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development.” This is in the framework of the United Nation’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, has released a message on the theme selected by the WTO for 2017. This is the first such message from the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, as part of its mission.

“When we say tourism,” says the dicastery message, “we are talking about a phenomenon of major importance, both in light of the number of people involved (travellers and workers) and for the many benefits that it can bring to society (economic, cultural and social), but also given the risks and dangers that it can create in many areas.

“According to the World Tourism Organization’s latest barometer, for the year 2016, the number of international tourist arrivals is around 1.2 billion. Worldwide, the sector accounts for 10% of GDP and 7% of total exports, also considering that 1 out of 11 jobs are in tourism. It therefore occupies an important place in the economies of individual states and in policies that focus on inclusive development and environmental sustainability globally.”

“According to the Church’s social doctrine, true development ‘cannot be restricted to economic growth alone’. In fact, ‘to be authentic, it must be well rounded’; that is, ‘it must foster the development of each man and of the whole man’, as the Encyclical Populorum progressio notes. … For the Church, the concept of integrality, when connected to the expression human development, also includes the United Nations’ idea of sustainability, and embraces all aspects of life: social, economic, political, cultural, and spiritual, making them elements in a single synthesis, the human person.”

Tourism “must be responsible, and not destructive or detrimental to the environment or to the socio-cultural context of the locality. Moreover, it must be particularly respectful of the population and their heritage, with a view to safeguarding personal dignity and labour rights, especially those of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Holiday time cannot be a pretext either for irresponsibility or for exploitation.”

“In its 2017 Resolution, the United Nations recognizes ‘the important role of sustainable tourism as a positive instrument towards the eradication of poverty, the protection of the environment, the improvement of quality of life and the economic empowerment of women and youth and its contribution to the three dimensions of sustainable development, especially in developing countries’.”

“…we Christians want to offer our contribution so that tourism can assist in the development of peoples, especially the most disadvantaged. We therefore propose our reflection. We recognize God as the creator of the universe and father of all human beings, and He who makes us brothers. We must put the human person as the focus of our attention; we recognize the dignity of each person and the relationships among persons; we must share the principle of the common destiny of the human family and the universal destination of earthly goods. The human being acts not as a master, but as a ‘responsible steward’.”

“The Church is making its own contribution, launching initiatives that really place tourism in the service of the integral development of the person. This is why we talk about tourism with a human touch, which is based on projects of community tourism, cooperation, solidarity, and an appreciation of the great artistic heritage which is an authentic way of beauty.

At the United Nations, Pope Francis stated: “The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman […]. This common home of all men and women must also be built on the understanding of a certain sacredness of created nature’.”

Full Message in English here: