Recently, BRICS member nations, encompassing Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, have come together to bolster their collaboration in pursuit of a sustainable and inclusive tourism revival. This joint commitment was formalized in a communiqué signed during the BRICS Tourism Ministers Meeting in Cape Town, a three-day event running until late October.
The communiqué acknowledges the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector. However, it also emphasizes the opportunity presented by this crisis to bring about transformative changes that can lead to a more resilient and inclusive future for travel and tourism.
The document states, “Despite the significant negative impacts of COVID-19 on tourism, the crisis is providing an opportunity to rethink tourism for the future,” with a particular focus on achieving a greener and more sustainable recovery. This necessitates a heightened policy emphasis on environmental and socio-cultural sustainability.
Following the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s definition of sustainable tourism as one that considers current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts while addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities, the BRICS ministers highlight the growing trend of travelers opting for low-impact journeys in response to the climate emergency.
To achieve a resilient, sustainable, and inclusive tourism revival, as well as to promote tourism within the BRICS alliance, the communiqué underscores the importance of continued cooperation in several key areas. This includes the integration of sustainable policies and practices, the development of more sustainable business models in tourism, and a reconsideration of measures for evaluating tourism success.
Moreover, the communiqué emphasizes the need to heighten awareness among BRICS countries about the significance of establishing improved tourism mobility and connectivity among member states.
In conclusion, the ministers agree to maintain their collaborative efforts in strengthening intra-BRICS relations and fostering mutually beneficial partnerships to uphold the continuity of BRICS cooperation. Additionally, the communiqué reveals that BRICS ministers have welcomed Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to join BRICS as full members starting from January 1, 2024.