Events and Communications | The Agenda 2030 and Tourism
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    Open Letter: COVID 19 – now is the time to transform tourism

    On occasion of World Tourism Day 2020, members of the Transforming Tourism Initiative reaffirms the principles of the Transforming Tourism Declaration and demand from World Tourism Organisation to open its doors for independent civil society organizations and people´s movements. “Achieving our joint vision of the 2030 Agenda and overcoming the incomparable global crisis that COVID-19 causes need the support of every stakeholder. We are concerned that the lack of inclusiveness in the institutional processes of the UNWTO is a barrier for this and a severe burden for the upcoming process to truly transform tourism. Only inclusive institutions will be able to navigate us all through the crisis and provide the essential vision and principles to enable us to transform tourism together”, says the letter, that was send to UNWTO General Secretary Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili.

    Events at ITB Berlin, 7th-11th March, 2018

    One year after the “Berlin Declaration on Transforming Tourism” was developed, several members of the Transforming Tourism Initiative will meet again at ITB Berlin from 7th to 11th March, 2018 and participate in various panels and events to advocate for the transformation of tourism.

    7 March, 12-12:45h (Hall 4.1, Pow-Wow-Stage): “Human Rights in Practice – Land and Resource Rights of Coastal Fishing Communities in the Era of Tourism Development”. Organized by Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism. Speakers: Camilo Alvarado (VSocial foundaíon, Colombia), Herman Kumara (National Fisheries Solidarity Movement, Sri Lanka), Peter-Mario Kubsch (Studiosus Reisen, Germany). Moderator: Antje Monshausen, Head of Tourism Watch.

    7 March, 16-17h (Hall 4.1., big stage): “Between Well-Being and Over-Tourism: Monitoring of Tourism at Destination and Community Level”. Organized by Tourism Watch. Speakers: Ruedi Nuetzi (Swisscontact), Girda Safitri (Flores Destination Management Organisation, Indonesia), Joan Torrella (Tourism Department City Council of Barcelona, Spain), Andres Ochoa (Fundación de Turismo para Cuenca, Ecuador), Sumesh Mangalasseri (Kabani, India). Moderator: Jochen Temsch, Journalist.

    8 March, 16.30-18.30h (Palais at Funkturm): To Do! Award Ceremony including the Human Rights in Tourism Award by Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung. The To Do! Award will go to Responsible Tourism on Board Tren Ecuador, Maquipucuna Ecotourism (Ecuador) and !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre (South Africa). Herman Kumara, head of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO, Sir Lanka) and member of the Transforming Tourism Initiative, will receive the To Do Award Human Rights in Tourism.

    9 March, 15:30-16:30h (Hall 4.1., big stage): “Voluntourism - How to Better Protect Children in Destination Countries?” Organized by ECPAT Germany. Speakers: Anita Dodds (Child Rights Consultant, South East Asia), Antje Monshausen (Tourism Watch, Germany), Damien Brosnan (, Kerstin Dohnal (ECPAT Austria), Nikki White (Association of British Travel Agents) und Theo Noten (Defence for Children / ECPAT Netherlands). Moderator: Sonja Kolonko, Journalist.

    II Global Forum on Sustainable Tourism in Brazil

    The World Social Forum 2018 will be held 13 -17 March in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
    Every year, since 2001 the World Social Forum has been the place where organised groups, civil society organizations, NGOs, social movements and local communities have come together to think and rethink the economic model of our society and the world we live in, to debate democratically new ideas, to formulate proposals, to share and exchange inspiring experiences and to create new pattern of action and innovative solutions.

    This year unified motto of the WSF is To resist is to create, to resist is to Transform! For more information about the programs and the activities of the World Social Forum 2018 visit the official website.

    Following the successful experience of the I Global Forum on Sustainable Tourism (Belém, 2009), during the World Social Forum, the II Global Forum on Sustainable Tourism (15-17 March) will take place during the World Social Forum 2018 (13-17 March) in Salvador, Bahia.

    The aim of the II Global Forum on Sustainable Tourism is to bring together community-based projects to create an environment for discussion and potential growth. Moreover, they will be encouraged to share their success stories, their challenges and work together on their potential opportunities. This will be an exceptional occasion to explore and strengthen the discussion about Sustainable Tourism, Solidary Economy and Community-Based Tourism within the Civil Society, as well as to reinforce a network of organisations linked to the sustainable, solidary and community tourism movement not only in Brazil but all around the world.

    Tourism Concern and Projeto Bagagem are involved in the organisation of the event together with local communities, NGOs, professors, researchers, members and supporters of the Brazilian Solidarity and Community Tourism Network – TURISOL. A preliminary programme can be found here.

    We would like to invite you to join us in Salvador, Bahia and participate in the II edition of the Global Forum on Sustainable Tourism.

    Transforming Tourism Initiative at the World Travel Market in London

    On the World Responsible Tourism Day on 8 November from 1:50 to 2:20 pm, representatives of the Transforming Tourism Initiative will present and discuss the Berlin Declaration at the WTM Responsible Tourism Theatre.

    Speakers include:

    • Mark Watson, Executive Director, Tourism Concern
    • Rebecca Armstrong, Associate, Equality in Tourism
    • Adama Bah, Board Chairman, Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia
    • Andy Rutherford, Director, Fresh Eyes - People to People Travel

    For more information visit: 

    International Year on Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017

    The United Nations declared 2017 as the “International Year on Sustainable Tourism for Development” (IY2017). In this context, it may already become visible how seriously the international community and the states are taking the 2030 Agenda. Do they start to initiate rigorous measures for tourism to become more sustainable, or will their business as usual approach block the way to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?

    In April 2017, the UNWTO has put together a “Discussion Paper o on the occasion of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017” asking for feedback and comment.

    As the Transforming Tourism Initiative, we appreciate the effort of UNWTO to call for comments on the paper in order to advance further debate and critical reflections. We understand that the collected feedback on the discussion paper and cases will be integrated into a final report on the IY2017. However, it is not clear how this additional input will translate into further strategic actions and activities. Therefore, we focused our comments to general remarks on the shortcoming of the report as well as demands on structural and institutional advancements within the UNWTO that are the preconditions for the necessary change.

    Many members of the Transforming Tourism Initiative are open and willing for further dialogue with UNWTO under the condition that a transparent process is outlined on how our input on the Discussion Paper will translate into further strategic actions and activities on the part of UNWTO. As evidence of UNWTO’s interest in further cooperation with civil society organizations, we expect your response and first ideas within 2017, the International Year on Sustainable Tourism for Development.