The German tourism sector confirms its commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism. In the presence of the most senior representative of the travel industry to the United Nations, Taleb Rifai, the German Travel Association (DRV) as well as leading tour operators and airlines signed the World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) Global Code of Ethics for Tourism on Saturday, November 17, 2012. The Code including a set of ten principles provides tourism operators with recommendations for more understanding of and respect for their own staff, people in the host countries as well as towards the natural and cultural heritage. The guidelines of the World Tourism Organization are intended as a roadmap towards developement and the implementation of responsible and sustainable tourism. DRV President Jürgen Büchy, representing the entire German tourism sector, signed the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics during an official ceremony at this year's Annual Convention of the trade association in Montenegro. The tourism industry thereby recognizes the moral principles laid down in the document and publicly pledges to comply with them.
" For a long time, we have felt committed to the principles of the Code of Ethics for Tourism", emphasized the DRV President:” Therefore the signing of this commitment by our trade association is a natural matter of course. With our signature we wish to contribute to respectful and responsible conduct in tourism, with regard to all peoples, cultures and the environment. At the same time we hope to sensitize other enterprises to the Code, so that the principles stipulated therein are ever more strongly reflected in our daily behaviour.”
For the German Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the signing of the Code of Ethics is of very great importance: Parliamentary State Secretary in the Germany Federal Ministry of Economics, Ernst Burgbacher, explicitly welcomes this initiative by the DRV: "The more companies sign the Code, the more awareness is raised for its principles and their implementation," said Burgbacher.
In addition to the DRV, the following companies signed the Code of Ethics at the 62nd DRV Annual Convention: Aida Cruises, FTI Group, Gebeco, Phoenix Reisen, Touristik of Rewe Group, Schauinsland Reisen, SKR Reisen, Studiosus Reisen, Thomas Cook, TUI Deutschland and Windrose Finest Travel as well as the airlines Air Berlin and TUIfly. On the occasion of the ceremony, the UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, the Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Economics, Ernst Burgbacher, DRV President Jürgen Büchy and the President of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Dr. Michael Frenzel, underlined the great importance of the commitment of private enterprises towards a more responsible tourism.
The fundamental tasks of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) include "the promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion." The UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Gobal Code of Ethics for Tourism to increase tourism's socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts. For further information on the Code of Ethics for Tourism please refer to www.unwto.org/ethics/index.php.