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Addressing climate change a must for sustainable tourism programs

Addressing climate change a must for sustainable tourism programs
November 4, 2016

A new report that explores recent trends in sustainable tourism, as reflected by the finalists and winners of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards program, has been released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Analysing the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards’ 156 finalists and 52 category winners over the past 13 years, the study identifies seven trends:

• Addressing climate change is now a must for any credible sustainable tourism program
• There is an emerging prioritisation of sustainable tourism by urban destinations 
• More social enterprises are engaging in tourism activities
• There is increasing recognition that people are critical for a sustainable future
• Biodiversity conservation and protection are still top priorities
• Standards continue to rise, backed up by measurement and monitoring 
• The parameters of sustainability are widening to include accessibility, consumer awareness and more technological innovation.

Commenting on the findings, WTTC President and Chief Executive David Scowsill  states “for 13 years WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards program has showcased the very best in sustainable tourism around the world. 

“This report shows how the landscape has evolved over this time, with standards getting higher, climate change now integral and a definition of sustainability broadening. 

“Measurement, monitoring and reporting are now fundamental to sustainability best practice. 

“This will become increasingly important as the sector aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

The report also identifies what is needed for a step change in sustainable tourism impact, and calls for:

1. More innovative initiatives being driven at scale.
2. Projects that cross the different tourism industries, and use the expertise of those outside of the tourism industry to deal with issues that companies themselves cannot solve alone
3. Sustainability that is an intrinsic part of a company’s modus operandi, not part of a separate philanthropic effort.
4. Media engagement in and coverage of sustainable tourism issues and initiatives, to push for improvements, share success stories and promote best practice.

Scowsill continued “the designation by the United Nations of 2017 as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development is a unique opportunity for our sector to highlight its economic and social benefits.

“We need to use this opportunity to ensure that we scale up, invest in and integrate sustainability across the board.”

The 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Award finalists and winners will be presented at the WTTC Global Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on 26th and 27th April next year.

Applications for the awards can be submitted online at www.wttc.org/tourism-for-tomorrow-awards/apply/ up to 14th November 2016.

Click here to read the full Sustainable Tourism: Past, Present and Future report.

For more information on the 2017 WTTC Global Summit, click here for event details in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

Images: Parkstad Limburg, a winner in the 2016 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards (middle) and the Great Barrier Reef (below).

8th October 2016 - VISITS TO THE GREAT BARRIER REEF AN EXAMPLE OF ‘LAST CHANCE TOURISM’

27th September 2016 - WTTC CALLS FOR GLOBAL TOURISM TO BECOME MORE ACCESSIBLE

10th September 2016 - UNITED NATIONS DECLARES 2017 AS THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM FOR DEVELOPMENT

1st September 2016 - WTTC CHALLENGES TOURISM BUSINESSES TO SHOW HOW SUSTAINABLE THEY ARE

8th April 2016 - WTTC ANNOUNCES 2016 TOURISM FOR TOMORROW AWARDS WINNERS 

2nd June 2012 - UNESCO REPORT SLAMS GREAT BARRIER REEF MANAGEMENT

11th August 2009 - HARM TO BARRIER REEF WOULD COST TOURISM $37 BILLION 


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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