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WhatSix nongovernmental travel organizations have partnered to form the Future of Tourism Coalition, which has released a new set of guiding principles that will unify the travel industry and position it for long-term, sustainable growth following a return to tourism. Partners include the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), Destination Stewardship Center, Green Destinations, Sustainable Travel International, Tourism Cares and the Travel Foundation. The guidelines were formed with input from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
RELATED: What COVID-19 Can Teach the Travel Industry About Sustainability and Climate Change
Why It MattersOvertourism, climate change and the lack of destination preservation were just a few of the problems threatening the travel industry in pre-pandemic days. Although these issues may have momentarily taken a backseat to travel’s economic recovery, there is a need for a unified refocusing for when travel does make its return. The coalition is calling upon all segments of the industry — from travel agencies, travel suppliers, destination management organizations and more — to commit to following these guidelines as a foundation for their businesses.
Fast Facts- International tourist numbers are projected to fall 60-80% in 2020.
- Twenty-two founding signatories have already committed to the coalition’s guiding principles.
- The 13 guiding principles of the Future of Tourism Coalition are: 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 a sense of place; and operate business responsibly.
- The coalition is also making a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, acting intentionally “to listen, learn and seek change” and by “addressing the role that racial and environmental justice play in creating a more equitable tourism economy,” according to a statement from the coalition.
What They Are Saying“The recent crisis in tourism has shown us just how much tourism relies and depends on local and global communities,” said Maja Pak, director at the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB), one of the founding signatories. “We have already strengthened ties with local communities and tourism authorities from across the country. We now find that sharing our experiences and gaining best practice examples from other countries will be the key to successfully navigate the post-coronavirus tourism universe. This is where the role of the Future of Tourism Coalition will be vital. The STB is looking forward to cooperating with the coalition and to progress further with the reset of tourism, especially in this new reality, where sustainability and destination needs, as well as trust, will have to be placed at the center of tourism’s future.”
“It is imperative that every organization evaluates how they will actively place the needs of destinations and equity within their communities at the center of tourism development, management and promotion decisions,” according to a joint statement from multiple CEOs of the organizations represented in the coalition. “There is no stable future for tourism if this is not done now — together, responsibly and vigorously. This is not a short-term effort; this is the future. Long-term resilient social, economic and environmental recovery and regeneration will require all sectors of industry to rethink how tourism works, who it works for and how success is defined.”
The DetailsThe Future of Tourism Coalitionwww.futureoftourism.org