Six sustainable tourism NGOs have rallied together to form the Future of Tourism Coalition with the goal of placing destinations at the centre of strategies for post-Covid recovery.
The organisations – the Centre for Responsible Travel, Destination Stewardship Centre, Green Destinations, Sustainable Travel International, Tourism Cares, and the Travel Foundation – will be guided by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
“Decades of unfettered growth in travel have put the world’s treasured places at risk – environmentally, culturally, socially, and financially, said the Future of Tourism Coalition in a statement.
“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 to 80 per cent 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.”
The coalition has put forth 13 guiding principles that provide “a clear moral and business imperative for building a healthier tourism industry, while protecting the places and people on which it depends”.
It is calling on tourism agencies, travel companies, governments, investors, non-governmental organisations, and destination communities to commit to them.
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, and operate business responsibly.
Twenty-two industry stakeholders have committed thus far, including the Adventure Travel Trade Association, Ecotourism Australia, G Adventures, Global Ecotourism Network, Hilton, Intrepid Travel, Jordan Tourism Board, Lindblad Expeditions, Seychelles Ministry of Tourism, Slovenian Tourist Board, The Travel Corporation, and the World Wildlife Fund.