The protection of children from all forms of exploitation, the fight against trafficking, anti-poaching and accessible tourism for all are among the work priorities defined by the newly formed World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE). The Committee met at UNWTO headquarters to identify the major challenges facing responsible tourism and define its Action Plan for the coming four years (Madrid, Spain, 26 February 2014).
Under the chairmanship of Pascal Lamy (former Director-General of World Trade Organization - WTO), the World Committee on Tourism Ethics met for the first time in its new constitution as appointed by the UNWTO General Assembly in August 2013.
“The World Committee on Tourism Ethics is not destined to solve major political and economic issues at the global level; it will be a useful instrument in interpreting a frontier area, which is tourism ethics, by binding people together in an operational way”, said Pascal Lamy.
“One billion tourists crossing international borders every year can mean one billion opportunities but also one billion catastrophes; it is up to us to decide. Governments, companies and tourists themselves need to ensure tourism works as a force of good and I am convinced that the new Committee on Tourism Ethics will assist greatly in this endeavor”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
The Action Plan of the Committee for the coming four years will focus on:
the exploitation of children in all its forms;
poaching and the illegal trading of wildlife;
accessible tourism for all;
promotion of fair models of all inclusive holidays; and
unfounded ratings on travel portals which may impact the reputation of companies and destinations
The World Committee on Tourism Ethics is an impartial body responsible for interpreting, applying and evaluating the provisions of the the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
Note to editors:
The UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) 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. It was adopted in 1999 by the UNWTO General Assembly and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001.
The World Committee on Tourism Ethics, a subsidiary organ of the UNWTO General Assembly, reports directly to the Assembly. Members are elected in their personal capacities and not as officials of governments or representatives of their countries.
Members: Mr. I Gede Ardika (Former Minister of Tourism of Indonesia), Mr. Yoshiaki Hompo (Former Commissioner of Japan Tourism Agency), Ms. Fiona Jeffery (Former Chair of the World Travel Market), Mr. Khelil Lajmi (Former Minister of Tourism of Tunisia), Mr. Jean Marc Mignon (President, International Organisation for Social Tourism), Ms. Tanja Mihalic (Head of Institute of Tourism, University of Ljubljana), Mr. Ron Oswald (General Secretary, International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers´ Association), Mr. Eugenio Yunis (Executive Vice President, Federation of Tourism Enterprises of Chile); alternate members: Mr. Hiran Cooray (Chairman, Jetwing), Ms. Suzy Hatough (Director of Dar Al-Diafa for Tourism Human Resources Development Consultancy) and Ms. Gunnur Ozalp (Secretary-General, Association of Turkish Travel Agents).