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Maximising tourism’s contribution to sustainable development, WTTC Declaration

January 19, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

Today, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched its “Declaration for the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development” expressing the organisation’s full commitment to the priorities of the year and setting out its vision of how to maximise the contribution of Travel & Tourism to sustainable development around the world.

David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, who launched the Declaration in Madrid, said: “As a global community, we have to rethink how we define economic growth and success, to ensure that the benefits of globalisation, of which Travel & Tourism is an integral part, are spread more equitably across societies and nations.

Travel & Tourism is identified in three of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is a valuable contributor to all 17. But we are also a complex and fragmented sector, and maximising our contribution to sustainable development will require deeper commitments and collaboration between businesses, public sector authorities and the international development community.”

In order for Travel & Tourism to function sustainably we need three things – people travelling, successful businesses and responsible practices. WTTC is therefore calling for:

Freedom to Travel: It is the responsibility of governments and the private sector providers to ensure that both the economic and human rights imperatives are met, while ensuring national security requirements are adhered to, through:

  • Promoting openness and welcoming all travellers, regardless of nationality, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or age
  • Ensuring Travel & Tourism is accessible to everyone regardless of social status, wealth, physical or mental ability
  • Facilitating entry and exit processes and using enhanced systems which balance the needs of travellers and security services

Policies for Growth: It is the responsibility of governments to put in place the conditions which allow Travel & Tourism businesses to operate effectively and for private sector and governments to work together to ensure the sector’s resilience, through:

  • Taking a cross-government approach, where Travel & Tourism requirements and impacts are considered throughout
  • Implementing appropriate policies and regulation which support the sustainable growth and resilience of the sector
  • Increasing investment in infrastructure, people, and systems which support Travel & Tourism development

Tourism for Tomorrow: It is the responsibility of the whole sector to ensure that it benefits the people, places, and environments in which it operates, through:

  • Protecting people and places through committing to a growth model which is inclusive of all stakeholders, environmentally sustainable, and economically viable
  • Reducing the sector’s contribution to climate change in line with international agreements and preparing for climate change impacts
  • Measuring, monitoring, and managing negative and positive impacts at destination and company level

Scowsill added: “The designation of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development will provide the opportunity for us all to expand our role as an engine of job growth and economic development. This sector is a vehicle for sharing cultures, building mutual understanding and driving a more peaceful world. WTTC will play our part in ensuring a sustainable future, and in making our world a better place.”

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