Publications

Green Economy

Tourism in the Green Economy – Background Report

The Tourism Background Report is an extended version of the Tourism Chapter of the “Green Economy Report” (GER), which makes the case for investments in greener and sustainable tourism as a means to create jobs and reduce poverty while also improving environmental outcomes. The Report analyzes the main variables that influence tourism development and aims to demonstrate that concerted “greener” policies can steer the growth of the sector toward a more sustainable path. Compared with a “business-as-usual” scenario, it shows how a green investment scenario would allow the sector to continue to expand steadily over the coming decades while ensuring significant environmental benefits such as reductions in water consumption, energy use and CO2 emissions. The Report aims at encouraging policy makers to support increased investment in greening the tourism sector.

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Tourism Chapter of the Green Economy Report

Prepared jointly by UNWTO and UNEP, it makes the case for investments in greener and sustainable tourism as a means to create jobs and reduce poverty while also improving environmental outcomes.

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Tourism and SIDS

Making Tourism Work for Small Island Developing States

For most islands, tourism is the main economic activity in terms of income generation, employment creation, and foreign exchange earnings. But due to their small size, islands are quite vulnerable to the negative environmental and social impacts that tourism can sometimes bring. That is why it is vital to plan, manage and monitor tourism development in SIDS, aiming at sustainability objectives. This UNWTO report presents a summary of the current status of tourism in SIDS, while providing evidence of the key importance it has for the sustainable development of many islands and for the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals. It also addresses the key issues that need to be considered by small island nations and provides policy orientations, guidelines and other tools to the National Tourism Authorities, the tourism industry and other tourism stakeholders in SIDS on how to develop and manage tourism in a sustainable manner for the benefit of their population.
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Challenges and Opportunities for Tourism Development in Small Island Developing States

This publication presents an overview of the status of tourism in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), while providing evidence of the key importance it has for the sustainable development of many islands and for the achievement of the MDGs. It draws together and updates a wide range of evidence on tourism performance and impacts and on the factors affecting the future development of the sector in SIDS, and provides policy orientations, guidelines and other tools to the various tourism stakeholders in SIDS on how to address these challenges and develop and manage tourism in a sustainable manner for the benefit of their population.

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Tourism and Wetlands

Destination Wetlands

At Ramsar’s COP11 in Bucharest, Ramsar’s Secretary General, Anada Tiéga, the Secretary General of UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, and the Romanian Secretary of State for Regional Development and Tourism launched the publication "Destination Wetlands: Supporting Sustainable Tourism" on 9 July 2012. This publication contains references to existing guidelines on sustainable tourism as well as many other useful materials on developing and managing sustainable tourism. It is relevant to wetland site managers, tourism and wetland policy-makers and planners, and the private sector (including those investing in, operating or developing tourism in wetlands). More information at Ramsar's web site.

Destination Wetlands: Supporting Sustainable Tourism
Destination zones humides: Pour un tourisme durable
Destino humedales: Apoyando el turismo sostenible

 

Cultural Heritage

Communicating Heritage – A Handbook for the Tourism Sector

This publication aims at improving the ability of the tourism sector to develop and present destinations and heritage sites in a more comprehensive manner, by providing guidance on the development of successful and effective heritage communications strategies and policies. It addresses a range of issues that arise in the delivery of heritage communication, presents current trends and proposes a variety of tools, including an outline structure for training workshops, to effectively communicate heritage values to visitors and prospective visitors, thus contributing to the building of memorable tourist experiences and greater appreciation and support for the conservation of the sites visited.

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Sustainable Tourism Management at World Heritage Sites – Enhancing Inter-agency and Stakeholder Coordination for Joint Action (International Conference, Huangshan, China, 24-27 March 2008)

World Heritage Sites are among the most emblematic tourism destinations and attractions, facing numerous challenges due to an ever increasing tourism activity and related development issues. This Conference was held as part of a strategic collaboration between UNWTO and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in order to address key tourism policy and management issues, such as coordination between heritage management and tourism organizations, extending benefits to local communities, reducing tourism congestion and environmental impacts, increasing site financing and enhancing the interpretation and communication of heritage values through tourism. This report summarizes the rich exchange of experience from the Conference, including the overall conclusions, expert presentations, a range of case studies across the Asia region, as well the results of field exercises and working group discussions analysing the Mount Huangshan National Park and Hongcun-Xidi Ancient Villages, illustrating how World Heritage Sites can be integrated into broader regional and destination-level tourism management processes.

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International Conference on Tourism, Religions and Dialogue of Cultures. Cordoba, Spain, 29-31 October 2007

At the invitation of the Government of Spain, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) organized, in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, the Junta of Andalusia and the Municipality of Cordoba, the International Conference on Tourism, Religions and Dialogue of Cultures, which was held in Cordoba, Spain, from 29 to 31 October 2007.

This publication contains the speeches and presentations delivered at the Conference, as well as initiatives and case studies featured in the three panels of the event: Tourism, Religions and the Dialogue of Civilizations; Religious Tourism; and Sustainability of Religious Tourism Destinations.

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Tourism Congestion Management at Natural and Cultural Sites

This guidebook is aimed at a variety of professional users, both within the tourism industry and for people who welcome and manage visitors at their destination or site, including public authorities in the tourism, culture and nature fields. It provides recommendations to the different stakeholders in the tourism industry on how they might contribute to the minimization of tourism congestion.

Destination and site managers will find a range of recommendations to build a well-informed understanding of their places and their visitors, as well as recommendations for upgrading the operational and physical capacities of their areas, in order to handle high levels of tourism activity.

The guidebook is intended to provide very practical recommendations, using illustrations from the case studies. Congestion management practices are explained at different levels, linking actions between demand, destination and site management. Congestion management practices are explained at different levels, linking actions between demand, destination and site management.

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Tourism and Biodiversity

Tourism and Biodiversity – Achieving Common Goals Towards Sustainability (2010)

With the aim of contributing to the understanding of the relationship between tourism and biodiversity and assess the way that tourism can contribute to the protection of biodiversity and enhance its role as a main resource for tourism destinations, UNWTO has produced this publication. It illustrates the high value of biodiversity for tourism, outlines current policies, guidelines and global initiatives in which the interrelationship between tourism and biodiversity is addressed, as well as identifies risks and challenges for the tourism sector from the global loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The report concludes with ten recommendations for actions on biodiversity and tourism for governments (national and destination level), the tourism private sector, international organizations and NGOs.
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Tourism and Poverty Alleviation

Manual on Tourism and Poverty Alleviation – Practical Steps for Destinations (2010)

With the aim of contributing to the understanding of tourism as a tool for poverty alleviation and sustainable development, UNWTO jointly with SNV has produced this publication, which outlines some practical steps that can be taken in tourism destinations to shape and manage tourism in ways which deliver more benefits to disadvantaged individuals and communities. The manual looks at the process of analysing a tourism destination in terms of current contribution of tourism to the poor and planning how this could be strengthened in the future. It proposes the establishment of a tourism strategy and action plan based on this analysis which embraces pro-poor concerns and actions and provides guidance on planning monitoring and evaluation. Furthermore it contains an indicative programme of training sessions, including handouts, using the material contained in the manual.

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Poverty Alleviation Through Tourism: A Compilation of Good Practices

With a view to further support governments and other institutions in their endeavours, UNWTO has produced this publication in the series on Tourism and Poverty Alleviation, including concrete examples of private or public tourism projects and operations that have been presented by UNWTO Member States as good, sustainable practices in poverty reduction through tourism. In total, 26 cases were received from 20 countries.

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Tourism, Microfinance and Poverty Alleviation

Recommendations for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

Tourism can contribute to the fight against poverty in developing countries, and more specifically in the least developed countries. However, this potential is closely linked to the accessibility of financing sources. With the aim of finding solutions to the numerous problems involved in the financing of tourism development initiatives especially for small enterprises and microbusinesses in developing countries, UNWTO in conjunction with PlaNet Finance, a leading microcredit institution, is studying the possibilities of adapting microcredit to the specific needs of the tourism sector. This report presents recommendations for small tourism enterprises and microbusinesses as well as microfinance institutions, with the objective of bringing them together and thus stimulate tourism development that benefits the poor. This report encourages governments and MFIs to adapt lending terms to the specific characteristics of tourism activity and poor populations.

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Tourism and Poverty Alleviation Recommendations for Action

Poverty alleviation has become an essential condition for peace, environmental conservation and sustainable development, besides being an ethical obligation in an affluent world, where the divide between poor and rich nations seems to have increased in recent years. The present book provides further evidence of the contribution that tourism can make to achieving one of the most pressing UN Millennium Development Goals: alleviating poverty.

Based on a more extensive analysis of successful experiences, it gives clear and practical recommendations - to governments, private tourism companies, international and bilateral development agencies and other stakeholders - on the various ways and means they can utilize to use tourism as a poverty alleviation tool.

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Tourism and Poverty Alleviation

One of the cornerstones of sustainable tourism – ecological, social and economic - to which UNWTO is committed, is the well being of poor communities and their environment. Tourism can play a significant part in balanced sustainable development and generate benefits for the poor. This report reflects the World Tourism Organization’s concern that the benefits of tourism should be widely spread in society and that the poor should benefit from tourism development. It reviews current experience of tourism and poverty reduction in order to identify what is known about the contribution, which the tourism industry can make to the elimination of poverty; and makes recommendations for action by government, the industry, development agencies and local communities.

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Tourism and Climate Change

From Davos to Copenhagen and Beyond: Advancing Tourism’s Response to Climate Change

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english - français - español

 

 

 

 

Climate Change and Tourism: Responding to Global Challenges (UNWTO/UNEP 2008)

This report provides a synthesis of the state of knowledge about current and likely future impacts of climate change on tourism destinations around the world, possible implications for tourist demand, current levels and trends in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the tourism sector. It gives an overview of policy and management responses of adaptation to climate change and mitigation of tourism's emissions. The Report also summarizes the main results of a series of events focused on climate change and tourism, which took place in the second of half of 2007.

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Climate Change and Tourism

This publication was prepared as a result of the First International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism which was held on 9-11 April 2003 in Djerba, Tunisia. It includes a basic report and summaries of the discussions and sessions on the consequences, opportunities and risks that the tourism sector is facing as a result of changes in world’s climate. The publication includes the Djerba Declaration on Tourism and Climate Change and the Agenda of Action.

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Ecotourism and Protected Areas

Sustainable Development of Ecotourism: A Compilation of Good Practices in SMEs

UNWTO has been systematically collecting and disseminating case studies as an important means of promoting the exchange and adaptation of good practices in tourism development and management. This new publication is the 3rd of a series of good practice compilations, and it has been prepared in the follow up to the International Year of Ecotourism 2002. This compilation contains 65 case studies received from 47 countries about exemplary practices in small ecotourism businesses.

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Sustainable Development of Ecotourism: A Compilation of Good Practices

This publication has been prepared on the occasion of the International Year of Ecotourism 2002. It is the second volume within the series of Good Practices published in the area of Sustainable Development of Tourism. The 55 case studies taken from 39 countries present a wide range of successful ecotourism initiatives. Each of them is presented in a systematic form, describing stakeholders involved, objectives and strategies, funding, sustainability and monitoring aspects, problems encountered and solutions found in each project, etc. The sustainability aspects are further detailed according to specific elements of ecotourism such as: conservation, community involvement, interpretation and education, as well as environmental management practices.

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The year 2002 was declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Ecotourism. For this occasion, UNWTO prepared a series of market reports with the aim to increase the knowledge of seven important countries considered “Ecotourism generating markets”:

The British Ecotourism Market (hard copy) , Electronic version
The Canadian Ecotourism Market (hard copy) , Electronic version
The French Ecotourism Market (hard copy) , Electronic version
The German Ecotourism Market (hard copy) , Electronic version
The Italian Ecotourism Market (hard copy), Electronic version
The Spanish Ecotourism Market (hard copy) , Electronic version
The U.S. Ecotourism Market (hard copy) , Electronic version

 

Policy Guidelines and Tools

Guidebook "Sustainable Tourism for Development"

Tourism is a major activity with characteristics that make it particularly valuable as an agent for development. Developing countries, however, face a particular fragility in their natural, economic, social and human environments which could jeopardize the sector’s dynamism and beneficiary qualities. With such a significant potential for development, the need for a sustainable approach to tourism in developing countries to promote growth in the long term while maintaining a balanced use of resources is imperative.

This Guidebook was developed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with the financing of the European Commission Directorate-General Development and Cooperation, within the framework of the project “Enhancing capacities for Sustainable Tourism for Development in Developing Countries”.

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Sustainable Tourism Governance and Management in Coastal Areas of Africa

This study of development and implementation mechanisms for sustainable tourism governance and management in coastal areas of Africa, undertaken by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), represents one of the outcomes of the Collaborative Actions for Sustainable Tourism (COAST) project. This Global Environment Facility funded project aimed at supporting and enhancing the conservation of globally significant coastal and marine ecosystems and associated biodiversity in sub-Saharan Africa, through the reduction of the negative environmental impacts which may be caused as a result of coastal tourism. For further information on the project, visit the COAST website

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Normas y sistemas de calidad en el turismo y su relación con la sostenibilidad y las leyes de turismo – La experiencia de las Américas (2010)

The principal aim of this study is to analyse the experience of the Americas Region in the development and application of quality and sustainability standards in tourism, as well as their links with national legislation. It presents a general analysis of the situation of the Americas in this field, shows the relationship between quality and sustainability, carries out a brief analysis of the role played by tourism laws in supporting the implementation of quality standards and systems, and provides a complete reference to regulations currently in force in the region.

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Sustainable Development of Tourism in Deserts: A Guide for Decision Makers

This UNWTO handbook addresses the development of tourism in deserts and areas that are experiencing desertification. It is aimed at the international community, and in particular the governments of countries with desert areas within their territories, as well as the international, national and local private-sector actors that operate in them, with a view to helping them implement policies and actions, and to provide them with an resource they can rely upon in carrying out their initiatives.

The publication provides a vision of sustainable tourism that is specific to deserts, taking into account their special characteristics, their fragility, and their wealth of natural, human, and cultural resources-tangible and intangible, archaeological and historical.

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Making Tourism More Sustainable: A Guide for Policy Makers

This Guide is a basic reference book and provides a blueprint for governments to formulate and implement sustainable tourism policies. It builds on UNEP and UNWTO's previous work on different aspects of sustainability. In addition to earlier work by UNWTO and UNEP, an extensive research survey was undertaken among UNWTO Member States, in 2003 and 2004, to identify specific policies and tools applied in their territories that had effectively contributed to making their tourism sector more sustainable. The conclusions drawn and the policies and tools recommended in this Guide are therefore based on real cases, collected from around the world, that have proven to be effective and successful in achieving the aims of sustainable development.

The Guide is aimed primarily at governments, at national or local level, while being also relevant to other public and private organizations to the extent that they are affected by, and can affect, tourism policies and their implementation.

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Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations

UNWTO has been promoting the use of sustainable tourism indicators since the early 1990s, as essential instruments for policy-making, planning and management processes at destinations. The new guidebook is the most comprehensive resource on this topic, the result of an extensive study on indicator initiatives worldwide, involving 62 experts from more than 20 countries. The publication describes over 40 major sustainability issues, ranging from the management of natural resources (waste, water, energy, etc.), to development control, satisfaction of tourists and host communities, preservation of cultural heritage, seasonality, economic leakages, or climate change, to mention just a few.

For each issue, indicators and measurement techniques are suggested with practical information sources and examples. The publication also contains a procedure to develop destination-specific indicators, their use in tourism policy and planning processes, as well as applications in different destination types (e.g. coastal, urban, ecotourism, small communities). Numerous examples and 25 comprehensive case studies provide a wide range of experiences at the company, destination, national and regional levels from all continents.

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Voluntary initiatives in Tourism Worldwide Inventory and Comparative Analysis of 104 Eco-labels, Awards and Self-Commitments

As systems of voluntary regulation in the tourism industry (like certification systems, eco-labels, awards and prizes, environmental management systems, codes of conduct, etc.) are gaining increasing popularity and importance, and following a recommendation of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-7), UNWTO conducted a world-wide evaluation study.

This study aims at identifying similarities and differences among voluntary initiatives, finding out the factors that make them effective and successful in terms of sustainable tourism development. The publication contains the research findings, as well as a CD ROM with the detailed description of the voluntary initiatives included in the study.

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Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas – Guidelines for Planning and Management (UNWTO/UNEP/IUCN 2002)

The link between protected areas and tourism is as old as the history of protected areas. Though the relationship is complex and sometimes adversarial, tourism is always a critical component to consider in the establishment and management of protected areas. These guidelines aim to build an understanding of protected area tourism, and its management. They provide both a theoretical structure and practical guidelines for managers. The underlying aim is to ensure that tourism contributes to the purposes of protected areas and does not undermine them.

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Sustainable Development of Tourism: A Compilation of Good Practices (2000)

This publication contains nearly 50 case studies collected from 31 countries by UNWTO. The cases represent a great variety in terms of topics and types of stakeholders involved. A methodical presentation of these cases allows readers to learn about the background, success factors for sustainability and lessons derived from these experiences.

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Guide for Local Authorities on Developing Sustainable Tourism (1999)

Local authorities responsible for counties, districts, cities, towns, villages, rural areas and attraction sites are increasingly becoming involved in developing and managing many aspects of tourism. This book provides them with valuable criteria and techniques for its adequate planning and management. First edited in 1992, and totally updated in 1999, besides the general volume, supplementary volumes are also available for Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific and the Americas.

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Guide for Local Authorities on Developing Sustainable Tourism – An Annotated Bibliography (1999)

Local authorities responsible for counties, districts, cities, towns, villages, rural areas and attraction sites are increasingly becoming involved in developing and managing many aspects of tourism. This book provides them with valuable criteria and techniques for its adequate planning and management. First edited in 1992, and totally updated in 1999, besides the general volume, supplementary volumes are also available for Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific and the Americas.

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Handbook on Natural Disaster Reduction in Tourist Areas (1998)

Jointly produced by UNWTO and the World Meteorological Organization, this handbook demonstrates how to combat natural disasters in tourist areas and mitigate their impacts, relaunch tourism after a disaster and restore the image of the destination.

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Awards for Improving the Coastal Environment: The Example of the Blue Flag (1997)

A joint publication of the World Tourism Organization, the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE) and UNEP, this book outlines Europe’s Blue Flag campaign and explains how the Blue Flag programme can be adapted to regions outside of Europe.

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Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry (1996)


A joint UNWTO, WTTC and Earth Council publication, outlines practical steps that governments and private companies can take to implement the goals of the Rio Earth Summit and make the tourism sector more sustainable.
Download the document in pdf:
Cover
Acknowledgements
Table of contents
Foreword and Executive Summary
Definitions
Part one: Introduction
Part two: A framework for action
Annexes


What Tourism Managers Need to Know: A Practical Guide to the Development and Use of Indicators of Sustainable Tourism (1996)

This publication defines a set of key indicators, batteries of supplementary indicators for coastal, island, mountain, urban, cultural and natural areas, furthermore describes a methodology to define site-specific indicators in order to measure the environmental and socio-economic impacts of tourism.

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Rural Tourism: A Solution for Employment, Local Development and Environment

This publication is a result of the CEU-ETC Joint Seminar held in Israel in 1996. It includes a selection of presentations submitted to the seminar, covering various subjects on rural tourism in order to ensure that this product promotes sustainable tourism at local level.

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National and Regional Tourism Planning: Methodologies and Case Studies (1994)

This publication establishes the principal guidelines for preparing tourism development plans at the national and regional levels with emphasis on the integrated approach, balancing economic, environmental and socio-cultural factors to achieve sustainable tourism.

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An Integrated Approach to Resort Development (1992)

This UNWTO study analyses six resorts, all largely completed and representing different types of development.

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