Encouraging guests to play their part in a more sustainable tourism is key for hotels which hope to consistently improve their environmental performance. So hotels can get behind the UNWTO's launch of their consumer-oriented campaign Travel.Enjoy.Respect.
As part of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and on the run-up to World Tourism Day, the World Tourism Organisation's campaign aims to raise awareness of the value and contribution that sustainable tourism can make towards development. It hopes to engage tourists in making the sector a catalyst for positive change.
Announcing the launch UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said, "Whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to: respect nature, respect culture, and respect your host. You can be the change you want to see in the world. You can be an ambassador for a better future. Travel.Enjoy.Respect ."
The campaign, which will run in various languages and outlets around the world, includes a manual of 'Tips for a Responsible Traveller ', developed by the World Committee on Tourism Ethics in line with the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. The manual provides travellers with a set of recommendations to help them make responsible choices when travelling and have a positive impact on the destinations they visit.
"Today more than ever, ensuring that tourism is an enriching experience for visitors and hosts alike demands strong, sustainable tourism policies and practices and the engagement of national, as well as local, governments and administrations, private sector companies, local communities and tourists themselves," added Mr. Rifai.
Destinations and companies including hotels from around the world are invited to join the campaign and celebrate the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development with a commitment from the sector to 'Travel.Enjoy.Respect'.
ITP, the International Tourism Partnership is an official Friend to the Year, raising awareness of the message of tourism as a catalyst for change and sustainable growth to the hotel sector.
Watch the Travel.Enjoy.Respect. video here:
The campaign provides momentum for the sector and travellers leading into World Tourism Day on the 27th September, which this year will be focused on Sustainable Tourism - a Tool for Development. The Day will be dedicated to exploring the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said, "Last year alone, 1,235 million travellers crossed international borders. By 2030, this 1.2 billion will become 1.8 billion. The question, as we celebrate World Tourism Day 2017, is how we can enable this powerful global transformative force, these 1.8 billion opportunities, to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its three pillars. This World Tourism Day, whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to respect nature, respect culture and respect your host."
Official celebrations for World Tourism Day 2017 will be held in Qatar. The event will be structured around two sessions; focused on 'Tourism as a driver of economic growth', and 'Tourism and the Planet: committed to a greener future'. In addition, a high-level think tank will be conducted with the aim of opening the debate on the potential of the sector to enhance cultural preservation and mutual understanding.
There will also be a presentation from the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy, which advances sustainable approaches. The initiative is aligned with the Qatar National Vision 2030, which focuses on Economic, Social and Human Development and prioritizes tourism as a catalyst to progress towards a more diversified economy.
World Tourism Day will be celebrated across the globe and the UNWTO calls upon the tourism community, including travellers, private sector, governments and civil society, to join the celebrations and share them at www.wtd.unwto.org .