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Tourism and SDG 2 – Zero hunger

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End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture,

Food is an integrated part of the travel experience. We discover local dishes, try different ingredients and learn about local cultures through the exciting tastes and cultures around dining.

It is not very often you bump into hungry tourists, but many of the countries visited still experience scarcity in food. Every day about 821 million people in the world are undernourished. That is 1 out of 9 people. 

How can tourism contribute to SDG 2 – Fighting hunger?

Tourism can stimulate sustainable agriculture by making food production more profitable. When local farmers get to take part in value creation through production, use and sale of local raw materials in tourist destinations, they are integrated into the value chain of tourism. Food production can supply hotels and tour operators, and local products can be sold to tourists and locals. 

It is important that we in tourism understand the value of shopping locally, and not least that we choose responsible local suppliers. More revenue for locals will also provide more efficient solutions and better technology which in turn can provide better production. 

This also means that we have to make demands to our subcontractors.

There is an enormous potential in the growing segment of agro-tourism that complements traditional agricultural activities. Many farmers, for example, offer accommodation and experiences. This increase in income can lead to a more varied agriculture and increase the value of the experience.

This trend has also made it possible for “ethnic” food to increase its visibility, which helps to preserve local food and culture. In many cases, it can also lead to increased exports to international markets. In a modern world, more and more people want to move away from the standardized, and seek “authenticity” through food and drink.

Economic growth alone will not be able to solve the hunger problem. On the contrary, much of the solution lies in how we use our resources. Our consumer society is a big part of the problem. Food waste for example. We throw an infinite amount of food. Fully usable quality food goes straight into the trash, and the hotels with their buffets are among the biggest culprits. The potential for improvement here is enormous. 

If we as tourism players manage to reduce food waste, we will also save money, resources and we have more food available to fight hunger. It is extremely important that tourism continues to increase its efforts to reduce waste.

Part of solving the waste problem lies in local food production. A lot of food is destroyed during transportation. Destroyed food goes straight into the trash. In my home area, many people work in salmon farming. And a saying there is that no one is busier than a dead salmon. Even though the food is transported to other parts of the world, I believe it illustrates the point well. Less travel time means better quality. 

And better and healthier food for everyone contributes to improved health and quality of life.

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