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UNWTO – One Billion Tourists: One Billion Opportunities
Our weekly discussion article on current issues, challenges and opportunities related to ecotourism this week focuses on the UNWTO Campaign One Billion Tourists: One Billion Opportunities. What opportunities do you present the traveler for making a difference? How much responsibility does the tourism industry have to create opportunities for the tourist to make a difference? Head over to TIES-EXCHANGE to add your comments and ideas related to this topic! (Member log-in required)
This week, on December 13, 2012, one billion tourists will have traveled the world. The UNWTO is commemorating this with their One Billion Tourist: One Billion Opportunities campaign. As more and more people travel, tourism has an increasing footprint. Can the tourism industry turn this into opportunities for making a difference, maximizing benefits and minimizing negative footprints? Through the campaign, the UNWTO aims to raise awareness about positive actions by tourists, tourism businesses and destinations, and to help make the tourism industry more sustainable.
Global Code of Ethics for Tourism
The UNWTO has created the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism as a frame of reference for sustainable and responsible tourism, which is helpful for tourism businesses, governments, local communities and destinations in encouraging tourists to make a difference. The publications on "The Responsible Tourist" by the UNWTO offer guidance and tips on how travelers can play an active role in supporting and promoting sustainable and responsible travel.
One Billion Opportunities: Conservation, Communities and Sustainable Travel
Tourism businesses and destinations have numerous opportunities to positively contribute to local economies - by purchasing locally, creating local jobs, hiring from and supporting skills development in local communities. The tourism industry also has the opportunity to offer travelers the chance to support local sustainable economic development, by providing options to shop locally and fairly, as well as the chance to learn about social and economic challenges facing the communities they are visiting. The tourism industry also has a role to play in contributing to the global – and local – efforts to promote environmental sustainability.
The following are some examples of TIES members who are helping travelers make responsible choices and make a difference for conservation and communities.
- Summit Expeditions & Nomadic Experience (SENE), a trekking and wildlife safari company, makes sure their tour guides and travelers pick up their trash, uses local material and produce, and employs local people, and takes care of the environment. SENE is a member of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
- Vesselka Consulting Ltd. assists tourism businesses and destinations with economic, sustainable development and pro-poor choices, for instance through the Black Sea Rural Sustainable Development Project, which supports community development, poverty reduction, and cross-border cooperation by involving local communities.
- Wildland Adventures has founded the Travelers Conservation Trust (TCT) through which travelers can support local conservation initiatives and community development projects giving the traveler an opportunity to contribute.
Join the One Billion Campaign
Go to the UNWTO's campaign website to vote on the traveler tip you will commit to abide by, "Shout" with all supporters on December 13, 2012 to share the most popular traveler tip chosen, or send a photo of you or your organization including your name, your location, and where the picture was taken to comm[at]unwto.org or tweet with #1billtourists to share your most memorable experiences.
Ideas, comments, questions? Join our discussions on TIES-EXCHANGE! *If you're not yet a member of TIES, and would like to access TIES-EXCHANGE and other member networking and learning resources, please consider joining TIES today.