With the COVID-19 global pandemic and concern over projections that international tourist numbers could decline upward of 80% in 2020, exactly what the future of tourism looks like is uncertain.
The Coalition – made up of the Centre for Responsible Travel (CREST), Destination Stewardship Centre, Green Destinations, Sustainable Travel International, Tourism Cares, and the Travel Foundation, with the guidance of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) – believes focusing on a strong set of principles is vital for long-term sustainable and equitable growth while tourism recovers.
The Coalition has put forth 13 Guiding Principles that outline their vision for the path forward, including mitigating climate impacts, using sustainability standards, and reducing tourism’s burden, and has called on tourism agencies, travel companies, governments, investors, non-governmental organizations, and destination communities to commit to them.
In a joint statement, the CEOs of the organizations represented in the Coalition said, “It is imperative that every organization evaluates how they will actively place the needs of destinations and equity within their communities at the center of tourism development, management, and promotion decisions. There is no stable future for tourism if this is not done now – together, responsibly, and vigorously. This is not a short-term effort, this is the future.”
So far, 22 signatories from across the travel industry have committed, ranging from G Adventures to Hilton to The Travel Corporation. Others who are interested in showing support can join the movement by becoming signatories on the Coalition’s website, www.futureoftourism.org.