Tourism’s astounding growth in the past 50 years has contributed substantially to global job creation and economic development; but as with many sectors, it has not been without impact on the global climate crisis, biodiversity and traditional ways of preserving environments held by communities worldwide. Now as the sector recovers from the disastrous impact of the COVID19 pandemic, with adequate governance and considerate redesign, tourism can instead become an effective vehicle for biodiversity conservation and climate action and help fulfil the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Sustainable Tourism has collectively developed these Ten Principles for Sustainable Destinations to guide policy-makers, businesses and destination management companies to enable positive planning and behaviour change to restore destinations and optimize their offerings for a sustainable future. The principles are usefully aligned with the SDGs so that they can be integrated meaningfully into existing or complementary initiatives or planning processes that seek to achieve the Global Goals.
Launched on World Tourism Day 2022, under the global theme of “Rethinking Tourism”, the 10 principles presented in this paper provide guidance, best practices and possible tools for stakeholders to collaboratively and effectively reconsider how they manage destinations and tourism practices; deliberately and proactively designing for the resilience and sustainability of the place, the people and the products it includes.