Six organisations have come together for the first time to form The Future of Tourism Coalition with the global mission to place destinationsat the centre of recovery strategies – the Centre for Responsible Travel (CREST), Destination Stewardship Centre, Green Destinations, Sustainable Travel International, Tourism Cares, and the Travel Foundation, with the guidance of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
Decades of unfettered growth in travel have put the world’s treasured places at risk – environmentally, culturally, socially, and financially. The travel and tourism industries face a precarious and uncertain future due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with international tourist numbers projected to fall 60-80% in 2020. As tourism moves forward and recovers, re-centring around a strong set of principles is vital for long term sustainable and equitable growth.
To rally global change, the Coalition has put forth Guiding Principles that outline a bold vision for tourism’s path forward and is calling on tourism agencies, travel companies, governments, investors, non-governmental organisations, and destination communities to commit to them.
Twenty-two founding signatories who represent a diverse cross-section of key industry stakeholders have committed thus far. They are influencers in the movement, demonstrating leadership and adherence to the Guiding Principles in their product and business practices. They will provide guidance to the Coalition as plans are put in place to support travel and tourism entities long-term in their strategy to place destinations and communities at the core of their work. Those signatories include Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), Ecotourism Australia, G Adventures, Global Ecotourism Network, Government of the Azores, Government of Colombia, Hilton, Innovation Norway, Intrepid Travel, Jordan Tourism Board, Lindblad Expeditions, MT Sobek, Palau Bureau of Tourism, Riverwind Foundation (Jackson Hole, WY), Seychelles Ministry of Tourism, Slovenian Tourist Board, Swiss Contact, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, The Travel Corporation, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Tourism Council Bhutan and the World Wildlife Fund.
The Guiding Principles provide a clear moral and business imperative for building a healthier tourism industry while protecting the places and people on which it depends. Those Principles call for signatories to:
- See the whole picture
- Use sustainability standards
- Collaborate in destination management
- Choose quality over quantity
- Demand fair income distribution
- Reduce tourism’s burden
- Redefine economic success
- Mitigate climate impacts
- Close the loop on resources
- Contain tourism’s land use
- Diversify source markets
- Protect sense of place
- Operate business responsibly
The foundation of these principles was built on a firm belief that taking a holistic approach to responsible and sustainable tourism is the only way to secure the future the Coalition stands for.
The path to change is a journey and lasting solutions take time. The Coalition will support the industry by providing the tools, guidance and collaboration to ensure a stronger path forward and encourage a diverse and inclusive set of signatories to sign on and share their perspectives and experiences to collectively work toward a more just, equitable, and sustainable future for all. For more information, visit www.futureoftourism.org