Published on : Thursday, March 9, 2017
The UNWTO prioritizes sustainable tourism this year. 2017 has been designated by the UNWTO as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The global organization has estimated that there were nearly 1.2 billion international travellers in 2015, up from 674 million in 2000. Taleb Rifai said that this rapid increase in tourists is the reason why sustainable tourism needs attention now. Sustainable tourism is going to be in focus for the coming years too.
According to Randy Durband, the chief executive of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, sustainable tourism is still a niche movement, “Some travel companies try to be sustainable, while others ignore the idea, and from the traveller side, demand and awareness is soft.” However, Costas Christ, the director of sustainability for the luxury travel network Virtuoso said that the travel industry and travellers have made considerable progress.
Cruise lines have lagged behind hotels and airlines when it comes to sustainable travel, but that has changed lately, with several cruise companies stepping up their efforts. Royal Caribbean, for example, has a new partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to assist ocean conservation. Small cruise companies are also into sustainability practices. There are lots of tour operators today that are committed to running socially and environmentally responsible trips.