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UNWTO and Spain Announce Major Conference on Ethics and Tourism

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UNWTO and Spain have come together to organize the First International Congress on Ethics and Tourism, to address some of the most pressing ethical issues currently facing the tourism sector (15-16 September, Madrid, Spain).

As one of the largest economic sectors in the world, tourism creates jobs and wealth for millions, but can also pose serious challenges. Against this background, the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism – a set of guidelines and principles for the international tourism sector – was designed to minimize any negative impacts of tourism activity on destinations and host communities.

The Code of Ethics will set the tone for the debates at the upcoming International Congress on Ethics and Tourism, with sessions focusing on responsible tourism, fair tourism and poverty reduction, equality and exploitation. The role of the private sector in responsible and sustainable tourism will also be addressed, with a session on corporate social responsibility featuring leading tourism companies.

“The Spanish Council of Ministers has officially accepted the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and is committed to disseminating it among the public and private tourism sectors. In order for its impact to be as wide-reaching and international as possible, we are collaborating with UNWTO to fully achieve our objectives,” said Spain’s Secretary-General of Tourism and Domestic Trade, Joan Mesquida.

“We are extremely happy to be partnering with Spain to organize this landmark event. It will open an important debate on issues which are key to achieving a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector; a sector investing in green practises, gender equality and ethical behaviour,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

The Congress will be attended by leading figures representing the international community, ethics experts and members of the tourism public and private sectors including Michela Brambilla, the Minister of Tourism of Italy, which hosts the World Committee on Tourism Ethics. The Congress will count on the support and participation of the European Commission and will be officially closed by members of the Spanish Royal family.

Note to editors:

A frame of reference for responsible and sustainable tourism, the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is a comprehensive set of principles designed to guide key-players in tourism development. Addressed to governments, the tourism sector, communities and tourists alike, it aims to help maximize the sector’s benefits while minimizing its potentially negative impact on the environment, cultural heritage and societies across the globe. Adopted in 1999 by the UNWTO General Assembly, the Code of Ethics was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2001.

Relevant links:

First International Congress on Ethics and Tourism

The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism

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