International Standards for sustainable tourism

International Standards for sustainable tourism


Across the globe, the travel and
tourism industry is a booming business. It is one of the world’s
fastest developing sectors with increasing growth
forecasted for the coming years. Last year alone, 1.2 billion travellers crossed
international borders in one single year. By 2030, this 1.2 billion
will become 1.8 billion according to the United Nations
World Tourism Organization. International tourism currently accounts for 30 % of the world’s services exports as well as bringing economic
benefits to local communities and encouraging greater global connectivity. International Standards are
the fuel that drives the industry. Today, ISO has over
20 International Standards to help public and private organizations improve their tourist services
in such areas as diving, thalassotherapy, protected
natural environments, adventure tourism and marinas. These standards developed
by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 228 on tourism
and related services help stimulate the
global tourism market. They foster transparency in the exchange
of tourism products and services, increase consumer confidence
in the tourism market, promote fair competition, facilitate environmental protection through environmentally friendly
tourism products and services, support ethical tourism,
support “tourism for all”, improve personal and
property security, adapt to innovations
and open new markets. It’s no surprise that for
many countries and cities, tourism is big business. But its future will need to be
sustainable if the industry is to survive. Tourism has the potential to
contribute, directly or indirectly, to all of the United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals which are set to guide the global
development agenda until 2030. At ISO, sustainability in
tourism is a key priority. It’s a golden opportunity
to move tourism towards more sustainable
patterns of development. Sustainability is crucial for the long term survival and
enjoyment of the tourism industry. Standards play an important role. The work of ISO/TC 228
was recognized by an award for excellence and superior performance
at the 2017 ISO General Assembly. The LDE Award was given to the
committee for its excellent work, not to mention its growth, both in
numbers and in geographical spread. Representatives from all five continents
are participating in its work. But there is more to be done. We will continue to develop
standards to make sure that the tourism industry thrives
and we can all enjoy discovering our world
for many years to come. As global tourism reaches
greater levels of demand, International Standards, and
sustainability standards in particular, will be more important than ever. No one can predict where the
next travel hotspot will be, but one thing is for certain tourism will need
International Standards. International Standards that
truly respond to market needs and that firmly steer tourism down
an inclusive and sustainable path.

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