Global Roadmap for Food Waste Reduction in the Tourism Sector

Global Roadmap for Food Waste Reduction in the Tourism Sector

A consistent framework for Tourism stakeholders to embrace the sustainable management of food so that it never becomes waste

Action on food waste must be a top priority for the tourism sector. The Roadmap provides the framework within which tourism organizations can play their part whilst bringing benefits to their own operations, guests, the environment, and the sector as a whole.

Zurab Pololikashvili,
UNWTO Secretary-General

Food is a key element of the tourism experience. Food is also a precious resource. The way that food is handled has significant economic, social and environmental impacts, for both for tourism destinations and businesses. Tackling food loss and waste is one of the concrete actions needed to transform agrifood systems for people, planet and prosperity.

The objective of the Global Roadmap for Food Waste Reduction in the Tourism Sector is to accelerate the uptake of food waste reduction strategies by tourism stakeholders. The Roadmap aims to raise awareness among tourism stakeholders of the opportunities deriving from a more sustainable and circular management of food, with special emphasis on reducing food waste as a cost-effective and environmentally responsible strategy.

SDG 12.3
“By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.”

Global Roadmap for food waste reduction in the tourism sector - cover

The Roadmap sets out how the tourism sector can contribute to the achievement of target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aims at halving food waste globally by 2030. It provides an action framework to accelerate food waste reduction in tourism, sharing practical insights and guidance for the sector .

All in all, the Roadmap aims to guide the tourism sector to make a contribution towards a more sustainable and regenerative global food system, reflecting the sector’s role in the food value chain and its potential to shape production and consumption patterns.


The Roadmap proposes a consistent framework for tourism stakeholders to reduce food waste based on:

Rooted in the principles of the food waste hierarchy, the Roadmap sets out an action framework with the prevention of food waste is as the primary strategy to avoid food surplus and waste being generated in the first place. In a second instance food surplus needs to be redistributed to feed people, followed by animal feed or reuse in biomaterial processing. Thirdly, where food waste can no longer be prevented, it should be diverted from landfill or discharge to sea by applying circular and value added processes, such as recycling, (i.e. composting, anaerobic digestion and land spreading) or energy recovery; so as to avoid disposal (i.e. to landfill, incineration -without energy recovery-, sewer or discharge to sea, or littering).

Tourism businesses are involved in various stages of food management: procurement; inventory management, preparation and presentation of menus; consumption by the guests; and waste management, with food waste occurring at each of the stages and hence being a cross cutting issue. Therefore, by addressing food waste, changes at all stages can be triggered, leading to a more sustainable management of food.

The Roadmap promotes the “Target – Measure – Act” approach proposed by the high-level food loss and waste coalition Champions 12.3. and its call to action to scale up action on food waste reduction.


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The Roadmap builds on the UNWTO Recommendations for the Transition to a Green Travel and Tourism Economy. It also supports the transition towards sustainable gastronomy, building on the Guidelines for the Development of Gastronomy Tourism released by UNWTO and the Basque Culinary Center. In addition, it supports the implementation of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism by stressing the importance of reducing GHG emissions associated with food waste.

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