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Travel and tourism put on UN agenda for sustainability and poverty alleviation

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC<.>) is delighted that the Travel & Tourism industry has been recognised as an…

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC<.>) is delighted that the Travel & Tourism industry has been recognised as an important focus area for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the lead up to the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD<.>) in Johannesburg.

The commitment made by the tourism industry on sustainable development has been recognised for the first time by the UN, through its environmental agency UNEP which has agreed to highlight a tourism industry report for discussion at the final WSSD preparatory meeting in Bali, Indonesia in June. This follows on from the launch last week of an overview report by UNEP on sustainable development across 22 industries – including tourism.

WTTC, a leading organisation representing the industry, says this is a major breakthrough toward recognising the potential of the Travel & Tourism industry as an effective means to enable sustainable development and alleviate poverty in many parts of the world.

Graham Wason, WTTC Vice President of Strategy and Development says the industry has already made much progress in ensuring their commitment to sustainable development and poverty alleviation and stands ready to make the initiative work for all involved. It is now vital to engage all stakeholders, industry and governments, NGOs, unions and consumers in constructive dialogue which we hope to do further through the preparatory meeting.

WTTC has been instrumental in providing guidance and support to UNEP over the past twelve months on Travel & Tourism, having written the introduction and coordinated the Tourism Industry Report, with content provided by other tourism industry associations.

The Tourism Industry Report published and facilitated by UNEP, presents the perspectives of the Travel & Tourism industry in meeting the challenges of the 1992 Earth Summit over the past decade and into the future. The process included dialogues with various NGOs and the WTO to ensure that the report offered an open, self-critical assessment of the industry.

The report represents a breakthrough in multi-stakeholder dialogue and is the first step to establishing a process by which all parties involved in Travel & Tourism can work together to make the sustainable growth of our industry work for everyone. A copy is available from the UNEP and WTTC respective websites: ( and (

Travel & Tourism can be part of the solution to the challenges facing the preservation of our indigenous communities and our natural resources by helping to contribute to the alleviation of poverty in developing countries. It not only contributes to improving quality of life but must also be synonymous with environmental, social and cultural preservation and protection in order to ensure a prosperous Travel & Tourism industry for future generations.

WTTC Members, both individually and corporately, are committed to making a difference to the environment in which we live. A further initiative of the WTTC is a publication that will highlight the work the global players of Travel & Tourism are doing in the field of sustainable development and show that Corporate Social Leadership is widespread throughout the industry.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.