German tourism companies pledge to uphold the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism

PR No.: PR12073

The German Travel Association (DRV) and thirteen of its members have joined the growing list of tourism enterprises and associations to commit to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (Budva, Montenegro, 17 November 2012).

A total of fourteen German entities signed Private Sector Commitments on the occasion of the DRV’s Annual Convention, pledging to promote and implement the values of responsible and sustainable tourism as championed by the Code.

“The German travel sector is committed to the World Tourism Organization’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and is confirming this with the signature of the German Travel Association (DRV - Germany’s leading tourism industry association) and the signatures of leading tourism companies,” said Ernst Burgbacher, Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, in a video address to the Convention.

“I explicitly welcome this initiative by the DRV and am delighted that the ceremony is taking place in the presence of UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. German tourists do a great deal of travelling, and the German tourism industry operates all around the world. It is therefore important that it also accepts responsibility for socially acceptable, environmentally aware and sustainable tourism,” he added.

DRV President, Jürgen Büchy, said: “For a long time, we have felt committed to the fundamental principles of the Code of Ethics for Tourism. Therefore the signing of this Commitment by our Trade Association is a natural matter of course. With our signature we wish to contribute towards respectful and responsible conduct in tourism, with regards to all peoples, cultures and the environment. In this way, we hope to sensitize other enterprises to the Code, so that the principles stipulated therein are ever more strongly reflected in our daily behaviour.”

UNWTO, Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, spoke of the need for the private sector to embrace the principles of ethical, sustainable and universally accessible tourism in order for responsible tourism “to become a tangible reality in our world.”  

“It is hugely encouraging that tourism companies of the size and reputation as the ones present today are taking this crucial step towards a more responsible tourism sector,” he said.   

Chief executive TUI AG and Chairman of TUI Travel PLC, Michael Frenzel, said: “Tourism brings people and markets together and is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. We have to assure that the tourism services we provide in our destinations are not detached from ecological and social conditions in the receiving country. In this respect the UNWTO Code of Ethics for Tourism plays a pivotal role in promoting a responsible tourism development.”

Adopted in 1999 by the UNWTO General Assembly and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001, the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is a set of principles designed to guide the development of tourism in a way that maximizes the socio-economic benefits of the sector, while minimizing any negative impacts.

UNWTO promotes the adherence of private tourism enterprises and associations to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. A special focus on social, cultural and economic issues is one of the main objectives of the Private Sector Commitment to the Code. The Commitment seeks to draw particular attention to issues such as human rights, social inclusion, gender equality, accessibility, and the protection of vulnerable groups and host communities.


Note to editors:

Companies to sign the Private Sector Commitment to the UNWTO Code of Ethics for Tourism:

AIDA Cruises; Air Berlin; Deutscher ReiseVerband (DRV); FTI Group; Gebeco; Phoenix Reisen; REWE Touristik Gesellschaft; Schauinsland-Reisen; SKR Reisen; Studiosus Reisen München; Thomas Cook AG; TUI AG; TUIfly; and Windrose Finest Travel.


Relevant links:

The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism




UNWTO Principal Media Officer: Marcelo Risi

Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60


UNWTO Communications Programme

Tel: +34 91-567-8100

Fax: +34 91-567-8218


Photo credits: DRV e.V.

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