Ninth Meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics

Ninth Meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics

More Action Needed on Tourism Ethics

Madrid, 22 April 2010: More action must be taken to foster ethical tourism through reducing unnecessary travel restrictions, showing solidarity in times of crises and understanding that ethical behaviour and good customer service go hand in hand. This is the main message to emerge from the ninth meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics (Luxor, Egypt, 15-16 April).

Members of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics at their ninth meeting in Luxor, Egypt, 15-16 April 2010

“More action and less rhetoric is needed in tourism”, said the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, H.E. Mr Zoheir Garranah, in his opening remarks addressed to the Committee. Minister Garranah further underscored that “integrity must be our winning edge because ethical tourism is in the best interest of all involved”.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, emphasized in his message to the Committee that “in challenging times for the industry adherence to ethical principles is a pre-requisite for the recovery and transformation of our sector”.

In accordance with the UNWTO General Assembly Resolution on Facilitation of Tourist Travel (2009), the Committee expressed significant concern regarding:
•the unnecessary delays and rising costs in the issuing of visas;       
•the reluctance of certain countries to remove the entry restrictions for people affected by HIV;
•the need to improve the accessibility of tourism services and facilities for disabled persons.

Dr Dawid de Villiers, Chairman of the Committee, cautioned that “tourism without moral and ethical principles is like a ship without a radar; it can cause great harm to the industry, people and the environment”. He encouraged governments and stakeholders to be guided in their behaviour by the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, adopted in 1999 and recognized by the General Assembly of the United Nations as the basic code for responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

The Committee also noted that tourism can play an important role in the recovery of the communities struck by natural disasters as proven by the events of recent months in several countries.

As recalled by the Code of Ethics, local communities should share the economic, social and cultural benefits generated by tourism. In this spirit, the next meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics will be held in Indonesia.

Relevant links:
UNWTO General Assembly resolution on Facilitation of Tourist Travel
Also available in French and Spanish

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