Travel and Tourism's Support for UN's Climate Change

In an initiative to raise awareness and bring about positive change for the protection of the environment, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), has challenged the Travel and Tourism Industry to play a leading role in the effort. The latter’s support, in being a responsible steward of the environment, is crucial in spearheading the global push to creating a Green Economy. In the forum, entitled “Sustainable Enterprises and Decent Work”, held in New York at the United Nations on September 24, 2009, this matter was addressed and measures provided, whereby the Travel and Tourism Industry and the UNWTO, were encouraged to work together at achieving their shared goals.

Much of the focus was placed on poor countries, for who the UNWTO’s efforts have been directed in bringing attention to the potential benefits of eco-tourism. As local economies are under pressure to attract tourists, it is essential that job creation, infrastructure and land development and effective management are carried out in a manner that does not threaten the environment’s ecological balance or does not contribute to the rise in carbon emissions. The sustainability of the environment and the protection of its resources from over exploitation are essential to maintaining responsible, long-term growth.

The support of the Travel and Tourism Industry helps to put pressure on businesses and governments to conform to the standards laid out in the UNWTO’s recommendations. Through these cooperative measures, the goals of job creation and economic growth can be tied to the advancement of eco-friendly standards. Furthermore, poor countries can be revived through the responsible development and preservation of their environments. As travel and tourism is becoming increasingly more productive in creating economic growth, the industry must demonstrate the value and importance of securing the environment’s well-being in accordance with the UNWTO’s model. The successful implementation of eco-friendly travel and tourism is one step in the right direction towards creating an entirely Green Economy.