UNWTO responds to climate change in Davos

Carbon free destinations and interactive “eTourism” tools to advance a coherent response to climate challenge, are among the proposals discussed at the 2nd International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism held in Davos, Switzerland.UNWTO calls on all private and public stakeholders in tourism to factor climate change into their decision-taking process. UNWTO advocates adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, while maintaining its commitment to reducing extreme poverty and fostering sustainable development, as laid out in the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Increased awareness for climate change and its solutions can be advanced through web-based tools which highlight destinations offering more climate friendly tourism choices, as travel information is increasingly becoming web-oriented. Changing consumption behaviour, for example, by encouraging carbon neutral travel, will be promoted through the UNWTO eTourism Climate Change Award.

This initiative is a global first as it links tourism response to climate change with the latest state of the art information and communications technology. It is also among the practical outcomes of UNWTO’s public-private-partnership signed with Microsoft and acknowledges best practice responses to climate change in order to stimulate innovation and change of behaviour to global warming.

The pilot trial for this award will be held at the Canadian Tourism Commission’s “Canada-e-Connect”, the 1st Canadian eTourism Strategy Conference & eTourism Awards in Vancouver, Canada, 7-9 November, 2007. Each entry will be reviewed by a panel of experts selected by UNWTO, which will certify and promote the winners