Principles of Water Equity in Tourism
These Principles of Water Equity in Tourism aim to capture the essential points from the recommendations of our new report, Water Equity in Tourism - A Human Right, A Global Responsibility. The Principles are underpinned by the notion of water as a human right. They are based on the recognition that there are shared risks to all water and tourism stakeholders if water is not managed equitably and sustainably. These shared risks give rise to a shared responsibility of all stakeholders to work together to address water issues, with particular responsibility conferred to those inequitably consuming water, in positions of power and with greater access to resources. The full recommendations can be seen here.
- The right to water and sanitation should not be compromised by tourism
Governments should uphold their international legal obligations to fulfil and protect the right to water and sanitation of citizens as a priority. Governments should issue guidelines to tourism businesses operating locally and overseas on their business responsibility to respect human rights. More about our campaign for a UK Commission on Business, Human Rights and the Environment
- Governments should implement clear regulations for sustainable and equitable water and tourism management
Destination governments should implement clear regulatory and institutional frameworks for sustainable, equitable, integrated water and tourism planning and management. Transgressors should be penalised; good practicies should be championed.
- Land use and tourism planning should be based on assessments of water resources
Land use planning should be based on assessments of water resources and infrastructure, and tourism carrying capacities established. These should take into account livelihood needs, food security, population growth, climate change, and wider watershed degradation.
- Tourism businesses should implement their business responsibility to respect the right to water
Tourism businesses should move beyond technical approaches and implement their business responsibility to respect the right to water and sanitation in their activities and supply chains. More about the business responsibility to respect.
- Tourism businesses should abide by the law
Tourism businesses should adhere to national regulations governing water use and waste management, even where these are poorly enforced. This includes paying for what they consume.
- Tourism businesses should reduce their water consumption
Tourism businesses should work towards reducing their water consumption and contributing to water conservation by making use of existing industry guidelines.
- Land use, tourism and water planning should be undertaken participatively
Land use, tourism and water planning should be undertaken transparently and participatively,
with adequate community representation, particularly of women.
- Governments and tourism businesses should be accountable to local communities
This includes providing access to redress where water rights have been adversely impacted.
- Cooperation to further water equity should be pursued by all stakeholders
Cooperation and collaboration should be pursued by government, international donors, tourism and
civil society stakeholders in resourcing and undertaking data collection, improvements to community
water access, advocacy, capacity-building, technology transfer, and tourist sensitisation.
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