During a meeting in Rome, Italy, last week the World Committee on Tourism Ethics praised UN efforts to promote ethical behaviour in the travel industry, including initiatives on accessible tourism, trafficking and illegal trading.
Minister for Culture and Tourism of Italy, Dario Franceschini commented, “In these difficult times, characterised by economic and financial instability, natural disasters and unpredictable socio-political events, we are well aware that development can only be addressed with a shared ethical framework.”
Pascal Lamy chairman of the committee also noted that tourism can make a great contribution to economies but added that on occasions it can be damaging at a local level and the committee pays special attention to this.
The World Committee on Tourism Ethics is an impartial body responsible for interpreting, apply and evaluating the provisions of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Global Code of Ethics Tourism. The code compromise of ten principles, including that tourism should be a beneficial activity for host countries and communities and a vehicle for individual and collective fulfilment.
During the two day event the committee also voiced its support for a UN campaigns to end human trafficking, illegal trade in wildlife artefacts and drugs and a forthcoming study on the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism.
During the meeting it was also noted that more companies and trade associations are adhering to the private sector commitment to the code. As of November some 356 industry players from 51 countries have committed to promoting and implementing the code in their business operations.
Tourism can be used as an instrument to “protect nature and alleviate poverty”, according to Elise Allart, sustainable tourism manager at Dutch tour operator TUI Nederland. This view is becoming more popular as tourists are becoming more aware of their impact on places they visit.
Photo: Moyan Brenn via Flickr