Topic 3 Tourism organisations as a driver for sustainability

Tourism has an important role to play for 2 reasons:

  1. The tourism sector is at the same time both “a vector and a victimof climate change, as said by UNWTO Secretary-General, Rifai (n.d.).
  2. Tourism sector can be a good vector due to its linkage to lots of other sectors: it was included in the RIO+20 outcome document as a thematic area and cross-sectorial issue that “[…] can make a significant contribution to the three dimensions of sustainable development, and having close linkages to other sectors, create decent jobs and generate trade opportunities […]” (United Nations, 2012).


“The Travel & Tourism sector can and must be a force for good when it comes to sustainability, with sustainability being at the core of all growth. Today is about taking bold and long-lasting action beyond isolated green initiatives. Sustainability is not an issue on which the sector should compete on, rather we are all in this together and must address climate change, moving towards a circular or regenerative economy. As we look to the future, we require courage and leadership; purpose and long-termist; and need to understand the power of partnership and empathy to drive meaningful climate action.”, as per the Global Economic Impacts & Trends Report of the World Travel & Tourism Council (2020).

According to The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum (2019), “Results show that future demand for transportation services, especially regarding aviation, might outpace improvements in infrastructure capacity. More work also needs to be done to make sure cultural and natural assets are preserved in the face of growing tourism visits. While more environmental treaty ratifications and improvements to global average perceptions of the sustainability of Travel & Tourism are encouraging signs, the continued rise in deforestation, air pollution and species endangerments point to potential gaps between policy and enforcement. The importance of the natural environment for providing an attractive location for tourism cannot be overstated.”