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Wednesday 23 August 2017

New campaign aims to boost sustainable tourism

Did you know it is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development?

Thought not.

To mark this less than memorable milestone (surely they could have come up with a snappier name?) the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is launching a consumer-oriented campaign aimed at raising awareness of the value and contribution that sustainable tourism can make towards development.

The ‘Travel.Enjoy.Respect’ campaign wants to engage tourists in making the sector a catalyst for positive change.

Great idea - but unlikely to work unless the organisation does more than send out a turgid press release.
The main message of the campaign was summarised by the UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai: “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."

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 riffing Rifai.

The message will reach consumers through campaign supporters including among others CNN International, the Government of Andorra, the Madrid City Council, Iberia, the Spanish National Railways System (Renfe), Minube, PR MEDIACO, Cleverdis and Air Mauritius. None of them, except CNN, exactly global heavy hitters.

Good in theory - but money trumps sustainability any time; and this may be the last time you hear about this campaign.

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