To mark World Environment Day, the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Program led by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announces its new vision for global tourism– growing better, stronger, and balancing the needs of people, planet and prosperity.
The One Planet Vision for the Responsible Recovery of the Tourism Sector builds on the UNWTO Global Guidelines to Restart Tourism, with the aim to emerge stronger and more sustainable from the COVID-19 crisis.
This combined effort comes at a time when several destinations around the world begin to ease restrictions on travel and mobility and the tourism sector is getting ready to resume its activity with the lessons learned from the pandemic.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Sustainability must no longer be a niche part of tourism but must be the new norm for every part of our sector. This is one of the central elements of our Global Guidelines to Restart Tourism. It is in our hands to transform tourism and that emerging from COVID-19 becomes a turning point for sustainability.
Better, more sustainable, and resilient growth
The One Planet Vision calls for responsible recovery for the tourism sector, which is founded on sustainability, to build back better. This will underpin tourism’s resilience to be better prepared for future crises. The Vision will support the development and implementation of recovery plans, which contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to the Paris Agreement.
At a time when governments and the private sector are embarking on the path to recovery, the time is right to keep advancing towards a more economically, social and environmentally sustainable tourism model.
Private sector committed to lead by example
Sabina Fluxà, Vice-Chairman and CEO Iberostar Group , a leading international Hotel and Resort company, stressed that ” it is imperative to keep focused on creating a more responsible and fair way to travel”, adding that “Iberostar has responded by integrating sustainability in elevated safety protocols and further committing to our circular economy policies to ensure any new waste is managed properly.”
According to Delphine King, Executive Director of The Long Run, an international community of nature-based tourism businesses, “Our members collectively conserve over 20 million acres of fragile ecosystems, and none of this work has stopped despite the pandemic and tourism’s pause, demonstrating where priorities lie.”
James Thornton, CEO, Intrepid Travel, a leading provider of adventure travel experiences, call for committed actions and underscores that, “We believe climate action is a collective commitment to the sustainability of the entire travel industry, and the world we so love to explore”.
The One Planet Vision for the Responsible Recovery of the Tourism Sector is structured around six lines of action to guide responsible tourism recovery for people, planet and prosperity, namely public health, social inclusion, biodiversity conservation, climate action, circular economy and governance and finance.