Description of the Chair

In November 2020, UNESCO approved the creation of this UNESCO Chair in Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development, hosted by the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). Since 1992 and until its extinction in 2017, the Chair was called Tourism Planning and Sustainable Development.

This UNESCO Chair in Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development ranks the first in Spain and the 10th in the world.

In 1995, the Canary Islands witnessed the signature of the Sustainable Tourism Charter, on the island of Lanzarote, in the framework of the World Conference on Sustainable Tourism. Previously, on October 7, 1993, Lanzarote was the first island in the world entirely designated as a Biosphere Reserve.

Tourism Chair Dossier (PDF)


Providing training programs in tourism and sustainable economic development, including ecotourism management.

Organizing local and international congresses, conferences, and symposiums on sustainable tourism development.



The sustainable development goals (SDGs) were created in 2015 by the Member States of the United Nations as part of the 2030 Agenda. The 17 agreed goals aim to achieve within 15 years, a period that will end in the year 2030, a development of societies that respect the biophysical limits of the planet.

Objectives of Sustainable Tourism Development


Due to current problems (inequality, poverty, destruction of the natural environment, etc.), the need to adopt a model of sustainable development is recognized, in the different economic and social activities, which creates new positive synergies both for the natural environment and for societies, increasing social welfare and establishing a series of limits to growth, ideas that emerged in 1972 in the publication “The limits to growth: Report to the Club of Rome on the predicament of Humanity”.



  • Management and capacity building: new training programs, guidelines with UNITWIN, inter-university cooperation.
  • Sustainability: synergies with the SDGs, MAB, and World Heritage programs.
  • Knowledge transfer: Network of UNESCO Chairs in TyDS.
  • Functioning as an active network: all the research resources (human and material) of the ULPGC in the area of tourism and sustainability are linked directly or indirectly, and are activated based on the projects, needs and opportunities, also counting with resources in various countries that can also be activated.