Press Release

The need for multi-stakeholder cooperation to enhance responsible tourism underlined at the 3rd International Congress on Ethics and Tourism

PR No.: 
PR 17061
11 May 17

The potential of cooperation to foster ethical practices in the tourism sector was the major conclusion of the 3rd International Congress on Ethics and Tourism. The 2-day event held in Krakow, Poland, was attended by 200 participants from 32 countries. 

The Congress, jointly organized by UNWTO and the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of Poland in collaboration with the European Commission is part of the EU project ‘Enhancing the Understanding of European Tourism.’

Moderated by BBC The Travel Show presenter Rajan Datar, the event touched upon fundamental topics of responsible and sustainable tourism development such as the need for multi-stakeholder cooperation aimed at advancing resource efficiency, shared value and accountability of all stakeholders.

In line with the principles of accessible tourism for all, the Congress further underlined that tourism is a human right and not a privilege and that an inclusive tourism sector is good for its direct beneficiaries but also enhances competiveness and the quality of destinations and businesses.

In terms of responsible management of tourism destinations, the Congress evidenced the need for meaningful participation of local communities in tourism development, especially in early phases of planning.

In the context of social responsibility and accountability of tourism business, representatives from the private sector showcased how companies can contribute to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Good practices were presented spanning from promoting sustainable consumption patterns, promoting diversity at work place, empowering women and youth, ensuring the protection of children in tourism, raising awareness about humanitarian crises and disasters, as well as motivating employees’ to get involved in the communities in which they operate. 

Against this backdrop and leading by example, five Polish companies publicly signed the Private Sector Commitment to Global Code of Ethics for Tourism – the Chamber of Commerce of the Polish Hotel Industry IGHP, Events Industry Association, Orbis S.A., Polish Camping and Caravanning Federation PFCC, Polish Tour Operator Association, in which they were joined by Trip Advisor.

Speakers in the Congress comprised representatives from the Ministries of Tourism of Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania, Germany and Greece and the tourism boards of Iceland and Scotland.

UNESCO, the European Network for Accessible Tourism, Europe without Barriers, Tourism Watch, Social Enterprise Banglanatak-India as well as academics from Lodz and Surrey University also featured in the programme.

The private sector was represented by NH Hotels, TripAdvisor, TUI Group, ClubMed, Amadeus IT Group, Scandic Hotels, Stora Brannbo Con and Orbis Hotels.

Additional information:

The ‘Enhancing the Understanding of European Tourism’ Project is a joint project by UNWTO and the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission (DG GROW). The project aims to improve the socio-economic knowledge of the tourism sector, enhance the understanding of European tourism and contribute towards economic growth, job creation, thus improving the competitiveness of the sector in Europe. The project includes three components: 1) increased cooperation and capacity building in tourism statistics; 2) assessment of tourism market trends; 3) promotion of cultural tourism through the Western Silk Road and; 4) promoting sustainable, responsible, accessible and ethical tourism. The project is co-financed with COSME funds and will run until February 2018.

Useful links:

Brochure of the 3rd International Congress on Ethics and Tourism

Conclusions of the 3rd International Congress on Ethics and Tourism

UNWTO Ethics and Social Responsibility Programme

European Commission, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG-Growth)

World Committee on Tourism Ethics

UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism

UNWTO Private Sector Commitment to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism

Photos of the Event


UNWTO Media Officer Rut Gomez Sobrino

Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60 /

UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme

Tel: (+34) 91 567 8100 / Fax: +34 91 567 8218 /