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Published on : Monday, January 25, 2016
FITUR, the International Tourism Fair which was held from 20 to 24 January at Feria de Madrid, has hosted the signing ceremony of the commitment entered into by companies to the UNWTO and the Global Compact to drive forward the United Nations Agenda in the sector, to which IFEMA, the institution that organises FITUR, has adhered.
The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the Global Compact Network Spain have developed a collaboration agreement to involve companies from the tourism industry in corporate social responsibility initiatives. The action, entitled “Responsible Tourism: A Commitment by All”, included the signing of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and of the 10 Principles of the Global Compact by companies from the industry during FITUR.
On occasion of the workshop Spanish Businesses as the Driver for Responsible Tourism held on 20 January 2016 at FITUR, six Spanish companies signed the commitment to the UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics and renewed their commitment to the Global Compact: Europamundo Vacations, Fuerte Hoteles, Ilunion Hoteles, Minube, Port Aventura and Tarannà Club de Viatges. EAE – Ostelea, Formagrupo, Iberia, NH Hotel Group, Renfe, Segittur and Viajes El Corte Inglés are the other organisations launching as members of the project and which had already signed up to these commitments. A total of thirteen institutions, which may be joined by others, will integrate a working group that, among other objectives, will draft a publication on CSR in Spain’s tourism industry.
Furthermore, from IFEMA, the company RIU Hoteles also adhered to the UNWTO Code of Ethics.
After the institutional signing ceremony, a debating table was staged with the participation of the NH Hotel Group, Tarannà Viatges, Minube and PortAventura at which they presented their plans and activities for integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) into their current corporate social responsibility policies, giving relevance to spheres of particular importance for the industry in Spain such as employment, the local impact of business operations, innovation, education and health.
“Achieving a responsible and sustainable tourism industry is not possible without the commitment and effort of the private sector, which should be reflected at all levels, from the highest to each one of its employees, suppliers and the tourists themselves”, explains Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the UNWTO.
A key alliance
“This alliance between the UNWTO and the Global Compact is key to obtaining the commitment of the industry’s businesses. Working on multi-stakeholder alliances is the route to attaining the Goals of the new development agenda and working for a responsible and sustainable tourism”, points out Isabel Garro, director-general of the Global Compact Network Spain.
2015 will be remembered for the consensus in which nearly 200 countries have ratified the SDGs, which constitute the global agenda for the next 15 years. Three of these goals, numbers 8, 12 and 14, emphasise tourism’s ability to create employment and to promote culture and local products as well as the protection and responsible consumption of natural resources. The Project “Responsible Tourism: A Commitment by All” has the goal of advancing corporate social responsibility in the Spanish tourism industry and its contribution to the SDGs.