Adopted in 1999 by the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization, the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is a comprehensive set of 10 principles designed to guide key-players in tourism development.
Addressed to governments, the private sector, communities and tourists alike, it aims to help maximize tourism’s benefits while minimizing its potentially negative impact on the environment, cultural heritage and societies across the globe.
Although not legally binding, the Code features a voluntary implementation mechanism through its recognition of the role of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE), an independent and impartial body, to which stakeholders may refer matters concerning the application and interpretation of the document.
In these days UNWTO published a press release informing that the Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (ANVR), representing 200 tour operators and 1,400 travel agencies in the Netherlands, has pledged to observe the principles of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
This is the last fact about the European private sector commitment to ethic tourism. As of January 2013, 46 companies and associations have signed the Private Sector Commitment to the Code of Ethics, and 27 of them are European, concretely from Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. It is expected an increased number of European companies and associations during next years.