Transforming Tourism

Berlin Declaration on Transforming TourismIn the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development Tourism Concern joined over 30 participants, from civil society organisations from 19 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, in Berlin to discuss how tourism could be improved.

All participants were committed to achieve the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of a just, inclusive and equal world.

The group, which includes some of the worlds leading tourism campaigners, professionals  and practitioners, collectively drafted the Berlin Declaration on Transforming Tourism.

The Declaration examines the 2030 Agenda and current trends in tourism then gives recommendations for international bodies, governments industry and travellers. The declaration also includes three core principles:

The declaration has three core principles:

3.1 Human rights and self-determination of communities must be at the core of every tourism development. This includes the right to meaningful participation and consultation including free, prior and informed consent on whether, to what extent and in what form tourism takes place.

3.2 If tourism is developed, it needs to seek a widespread and fair distribution of economic and social benefits throughout the recipient communities, including improving local prosperity, quality of life and social equity.

3.3 Tourism should be a positive and beneficial experience for travellers and hosts alike in order to act as a force for mutual understanding, empathy and respect.

The group agreed unanimously that the current dominant tourism model is not able to support the necessary transformation of the world envisaged by the 2030 Agenda. On the contrary, in too many cases it is exploiting people, harming communities, violating human rights and degrading the environment.  Tourism Concern’s Director Mark Watson, added his voice to the following statement:

We believe that transforming our world is not possible without transforming tourism. With this declaration we want not only to encourage further reflection and debate, but demand concrete activities and actions.

The declaration was presented at ITB, the worlds leading travel trade show, on 8th March 2017 and has become the basis for further joint action and a global campaign to increase the number of signatories.

It can be read and signed here Berlin Declaration on Tranforming Tourism