The World Travel & Tourism Council has urged governments to develop climate change policies which are designed to ensure tourism can continue to grow sustainably.
Releasing a communiqué during the International Climate Change Negotiations in Durban , the WTTC said measures would be necessary for tourism to continue to provide millions of new jobs across the planet.
As one of the world’s largest industries, generating more than nine per cent of global GDP and accounting for some 260 million jobs worldwide, the continued growth of the tourism industry is critical to the economic and social wellbeing of millions of people, and is therefore a key driver of economic recovery, argued the WTTC.
As such, tourism has an immense role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
To help governments expand on the sustainable policy structure needed, WTTC is calling for: Supportive and progressive policy frameworks; Programmes which foster innovation; Investment in transparent reporting, measuring and verification systems; Incentives to promote efficiency improvements; Empowerment of citizens to purchase and consume responsibly; and Inclusion of Travel & Tourism in mitigation and adaptation programmes.
WTTC president David Scowsill said: “The tourism industry recognises everyone has a part to play in combating climate change.
“Leaders in the industry have already made a commitment to halve carbon emissions by 2035 (on 2005 levels), as set out in WTTC’s Leading the Challenge on Climate Change report published in 2009, and there are many examples across the industry of how this is being achieved.
“Furthermore, the industry is also keen to be not only a partner to government but also a resource for policy development and implementation.
“Together, we can achieve a low-carbon, climate resilient world economy.”
“A concerted effort is needed to develop a common solution that can be embraced by the tourism industry, governments and consumers worldwide to tackle this global problem in a co-ordinated fashion.
“While progress in Durban would go a long way in providing clarity internationally, the responsibility still remains on national governments to develop the policies needed to ensure that the industry achieves low-carbon growth,” he concluded.
To download the full Communiqué, please click here.