In 2012, the number of international tourist arrivals surpassed one billion for the first time in history, and is forecast to reach 1.8 billion in 2030, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). With continuing growth in travel, there is increasing recognition among both travel professionals and consumers of the importance of responsible travel. Today we celebrate World Tourism Day, which was established by UNWTO to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
The sustainability of our destinations is a critical issue and many destinations are implementing sustainable tourism programs with their members and stakeholders. But destinations can’t do it alone. Fortunately there is a growing movement of travelers committed to ensuring their impact on tourism destinations is positive and growing evidence that responsible travel is also good for the economic bottom line.
The United States Travel Care Code, developed by the Center for Sustainable Tourism at the University of East Carolina, encourages travel to pledge to travel green by taking 10 easy steps including learning about your destination, travel fuel efficiently and encouraging travelers to not leave their good habits, like recycling, at home.
The Travel Care program also provides great resources that DMOs can use to promote responsible travel. The pledge and a number of travel tips are available for reproduction in publications and websites. To learn more about the code visit www.travelcarecode.org.