Visita and Svensk Turism AB have become the latest private sector signatories to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics. The signature of the commitment to the Code took place on the occasion of Sweden’s Hospitality Industry Congress, held in Gothenburg (17 March 2016).
By adhering to the Code, the private sector signatories commit to respect its principles; to promote the Code among its partners, providers, staff and clients, making sure that its provisions are known and respected as far and wide as possible; and to report to the World Committee on Tourism Ethics on the measures taken to implement the Code.
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As stated by Márcio Favilla, UNWTO Executive Director for Competitiveness, External Relations and Partnerships, on the occasion of the signature “tourism’s exponential growth in recent years comes with increased responsibility for all and this is why today’s commitment is so important; the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics constitutes the most efficient tool to channel corporate responsibility commitments towards our society and communities.”
“Travel to Sweden is becoming more and more popular among tourists from Europe as well as for those traveling from long-haul markets such as Japan, China, India, Russia and the USA. Cooperation with UNWTO highlights Sweden’s commitment to being a responsible, sustainable and attractive destination”, said Maud Olofsson President of Visita. Eva Östling, CEO of Visita, added that “tourism is one of Sweden’s most important industries with an export value of 97 billion SEK. But the potential is much higher. The goal is to double this in ten years”.
Magnus Nilsson, President of Svenk Turism said “now we’ll insert the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism in the Swedish tourist industry’s national strategy. With a focus on sustainability, we will work towards ensuring that by 2020 Sweden is the natural destination for the global traveler”.
The UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is a comprehensive set of principles designed to guide key-players in tourism development. Addressed to governments, the travel industry, communities and tourists alike, it aims to help maximise the sector’s benefits while minimising its potentially negative impact on the environment, cultural heritage and societies across the globe. Adopted in 1999 by the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization it was acknowledged by the United Nations in 2001.
The relevance that the private sector can have in promoting a more responsible tourism sector, lead UNWTO to develop since 2011 the Private Sector Commitment to the Code. As of January 2016, 451companies and associations from 64 countries –from airlines and hotels, to tour operators and associations– have joined the commitment to uphold ethical standards and ensure the implementation of the Code in their operations.