Published on : Monday, January 23, 2017
ABTA supported the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, which launched in Madrid. ABTA is a member of the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) Steering Committee, which is guiding and supporting the implementation of the International Year.
The UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development was launched in Madrid at the Spanish Tourism Fair, FITUR. According to the UN, ‘well-designed and well-managed tourism’ can contribute to sustainable development, to job creation, to trade and to fostering better understanding amongst different cultures.
As part of the steering committee, ABTA helped shape the UNWTO Flagship Report “Tourism for Development”, which explored the current and potential contribution of tourism towards development. Additionally, ABTA encouraged its Members and Partners to engage with its sustainable tourism programmes making tourism better for the environment, better for local places and better for local economies, all of which will ultimately benefit tourism’s long-term viability and profitability.
ABTA believes sustainable tourism is essential for the industry’s long-term viability and profitability and encourages all of its travel agent and tour operator members as well as its partners to get involved in its “Better Places” programme. The Better Places programme is a series of initiatives designed to help ABTA members implement a sustainability approach or improve on their current sustainability performance. It addresses the environmental, social and economic impacts of tourism. Better Places includes ABTA’s animal welfare guidance and the recently launched Volunteer Tourism Guidelines as well as advice and resources. Throughout the year, Travelife, ABTA’s subsidiary, which audits and accredits hotels for their sustainability credentials, continued to expand its base, and promote the business and social benefits of sustainable tourism.
Nikki White, ABTA Director of Destinations and Sustainability: “We are delighted to be supporting the UN Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. It is fantastic that the UN has put sustainable tourism right at the heart of the agenda. Tourism can be a powerful force for good and we look forward to working with our Members and the industry throughout this year and beyond. I would encourage all ABTA Members to visit our Better Places pages and drive their sustainability strategy forward.”