Sustainable Tourism, including Ecotourism Programme

Sustainable Tourism Programme

Current Stage: Step 4

The Concept Note outlining the 10YFP Programme on Sustainable Tourism is available to Public Consultation

“Sustainable Tourism” was identified as one of the five initial programmes of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP), adopted at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 10YFP is a global framework of action facilitating international cooperation to accelerate the shift towards Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in both developed and developing countries.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as the Secretariat of the 10YFP, invites you to provide your feedback on the proposed 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme, as developed in the attached Concept Note. 

Background
The Concept Note of the 10YFP sustainable tourism programme was developed from the results of a 2013 stocktaking exercise and global survey on existing data and global initiatives on sustainable tourism, engaging tourism stakeholders, relevant UN agencies and programmes.  The global survey was conducted by UNEP, as 10YFP Secretariat, in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in English, Spanish and French. The survey form was distributed to 10YFP national focal points (NFP), sub-regional focal points (SFP), the UN Interagency Coordinating Group (IACG) and to the global tourism stakeholder base with assistance from partners.  The 355 participants responding to the global survey were from 81 countries, with 40% representing government institutions, 27% private businesses, and 21% nonprofits and NGOs, 12% academia, consultants, international organizations and others. In addition, UNEP, as the 10YFP Secretariat with financial support of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of the Republic of Korea hosted two consultative meetings of this concept note: 

  • The sustainable tourism expert consultation meeting held 26 March in Agadir Morocco. This consultation gathered 31 tourism specialists, representing governments; intergovernmental and multi-lateral organizations; NGO's, non-profit organizations; business associations and the private sector. This meeting was co-hosted with support from the Ministry of Tourism of the Kingdom of Morocco, and the UNWTO.
  • Asia Pacific consultation meeting was held 17-19 April in Busan, Republic of Korea. This meeting included a special session on challenges and opportunities for Sustainable Development of Tourism in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The meeting was organized in partnership with the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD), and support of the Korean Tourism Organization and UNWTO.

Concept Note outlining the 10YFPProgramme on Sustainable Tourism - for Public Consultation
The Concept Note defines ‘sustainable tourism’ in the context of sustainable consumption and production, and summarizes the challenges and opportunities identified in the global survey and stocktaking exercise. It outlines the vision and goal of a proposed 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme, and proposes 4 areas of work.   We are inviting countries and stakeholders to provide comments on this concept note. This public consultation will be open from 6 May 2014 to 3 June 2014.

Following this consultation, the revised concept note will provide the basis for the official submission of the Sustainable Tourism programme to the 10YFP Secretariat and Board for their final approval. The launch of the tourism programme is expected in August 2014.

This public consultation on the concept note is an excellent opportunity for interested governments and stakeholders to take an active role in developing the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme. So please provide your feedback comments on the enclosed feedback form.

Expressions of Interest
In addition to the public consultation, governments and institutions could  express their interest in participating actively in the 10YFP Sustainable Programme  serving as the Programme Lead or co-Leads , as members of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee (MAC) or as a partner of the programme.  The roles and responsibilities of each are defined in the Guidance Document on the 10YFP Programmes. 

The following attachments are provided for your use, information and guidance: 

1) 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme concept note with description of work areas. EN / FR / ES
2) The feedback form with your comments on the concept note. 
3) Forms for the expressions of Interest for taking an active role in the programme serving either as lead/co-leads, a member of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee or as a partner. Note that the deadline for submitting expressions of interest forms is 3 June 2014. Forms should be submitted to 10yfp@unep.org and tourism@unep.org.

Thank you very much for your participation. Please submit any questions you may have to 10yfp@unep.org and catalina.etcheverry.affiliate@unep.org

Please note that all responses to questions will be posted on the 10YFP website.

Stocktaking & Consultation Process

Research, stock taking and a consultation process took place in the second semester of 2013 and first half of 2014. These consultations were conducted regionally, identified lead actors and partners and contributed to the drafting of the concept note of the Sustainable Tourism programme. The activities were conducted in cooperation with concerned UN Agencies, in particular UNWTO. 

Based on this initial stock taking exercise, which analyzed the status quo of sustainable tourism worldwide, and the global sustainable tourism survey, a concept note for the Sustainable Tourism Programme was developed. The latter proposes a preliminary vision and four programme areas with respective sub-programme areas for the Sustainable Tourism Programme. This concept note was discussed on February 26, 2014 in Agadir, Morocco, during a sustainable tourism expert consultation meeting.


About the 10YFP Global Survey on Sustainable Tourism

UNEP, as 10YFP Secretariat and the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) carried out a  Global Survey on Sustainable Tourism (from August to October 2013) and disseminated with the support key partners (UNWTO, UNESCO, the Convention on Biological Diversity and Rainforest Alliance), and was sent to NFP, SFP, IACG and other stakeholders. It included some questions, regarding the expression of interest to participate in the programme. This survey was available in 3 languages (English, French and Spanish), which helped to increase participation. Among the 355 participants, 40% represents governmental institutions at different levels and 27% businesses, and 21 % nonprofits and NGO’s from 81 countries.

The preliminary findings were presented at the 92nd Session of the OECD Tourism Committee (1-2 October 2013, Paris) and at the UN Expert Group Meeting on Ecotourism, Poverty Reduction and Environmental Protection (29-30 October 2013, New York). 

The main barriers to sustainable tourism cited as “Underlying Causes” for all regions, including Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Asia Pacific have started to surface as the following: 

  • Low levels of understanding of “sustainable tourism” and the business case 
  • Lack of an integrated approach to tourism planning and investment 
  • SMEs have limited access and marketing capacity 
  • Sustainable products and services are not promoted at the destination 
  • Lack of capacity in public sector 
  • Lack of monitoring and evaluation policy/mandate for evaluation tourism impacts

Download the 10YFP Global Sustainable Tourism Survey results here

About the Consultation Meetings

Southern Africa Consultation, 15 August 2013 

A regional consultation meeting for development of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on sustainable tourism was held on 15 August 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event saw excellent attendance from 14 of the 15 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States (Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe), with only Lesotho being absent from the event. The tourism public and private sectors, as well as civil society were well represented. 

The meeting was organised in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism (GPST), the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA), Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) and the Sustainable Tourism Certification Alliance Africa (the “Alliance”). 

A major outcome of the meeting was identification of five specific “working areas” for the 10YFP sustainable tourism programme in the southern African context as follows: 

1. Policy frameworks and governance;
2. Private sector performance;
3. Job creation and livelihoods;
4. Environment and biodiversity; and
5. Culture and natural heritage. 

There was clear acknowledgement of the importance for destinations to incorporate the three pillars of sustainability (social, economic and environmental) into tourism development activities, as well as confirmed support for development of a 10YFP on sustainable tourism for the southern African region by all SADC Member States in attendance. 

Sustainable Tourism Expert Consultation in Agadir, Morocco, February 2014

The sustainable tourism expert consultation meeting gathered 31 tourism specialists, representing governments; intergovernmental and multi-lateral organizations; NGO's, non-profit organizations; business associations and the private sector. UNEP and the 10YFP Secretariat, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of the Republic of Korea, co-hosted the meeting with support from the Ministry of Tourism of the Kingdom of Morocco, and the UNWTO.

The objective of this expert consultation was to shape the proposal for the Sustainable Tourism programme of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP). 

The concept note that was presented to the participants was a result of the regional consultations held in the 10YFP regional meetings in LAC and Asia Pacific and the sub-regional workshop on Sustainable Tourism held in South Africa last year, as well as the on-line global survey on Sustainable Tourism, that received 355 responses from all regions.

The priority areas for the 10YFP programme were drawn from this stock-taking analysis and consultations and may include: Tourism/ Destination Planning; Tourism Investment; Tourism Monitoring and Evaluation; and Tourism Operations and Management.

The launch of the programme is foreseen to take place at ECOSOC in July. Thereby, the next steps to guarantee this release are: 
  • A public consultation of the sustainable tourism programme concept note to solicit feedback on the programme area activities, and call for expression of interest to become a lead/co-lead and/or member of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee.
  • The organization of a Regional Consultation in Asia Pacific hosted by MCST Korea in April 2014.
  • The establishment of multi-advisory committee (MAC) and identification of leads of the Programme.
  • Submit programme proposal (standard template) to the 10YFP Secretariat and Board. 
  • Launch of the sustainable tourism programme of the 10YFP in the second quarter of 2014.

To learn more download the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Expert Consultation

Asia Pacific Regional Consultation on the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on Sustainable Consumption and Production

A regional consultation meeting to shape the overall concept note of the10 Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on sustainable tourism, was held 17-19 April in Busan, Republic of Korea. This meeting included a special session on challenges and opportunities for Sustainable Development of Tourism in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The meeting was organised in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as the 10 YFP Secretariat, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of the Republic of Korea and the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD). The event saw excellent attendance with a total participation of 81 international attendees representing 18 governments, 4 inter-governmental organizations, 3 regional tourism organizations, and 4 scientific and research organizations.

The SIDS were represented by 9 governments, representatives of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and South Pacific Tourism Organization. Of the 81attendees, the Korean government invited 48 Korean stakeholders that have influence on the national tourism value chain to raise their awareness on the need to integrate sustainable consumption and production in the tourism sector and to discuss the national sustainable tourism programme of the 10YFP.  

The objective of this regional consultation was to shape the overall proposal for the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP), and to consult with Small Island Developing States (SIDS) representatives on the main needs and priorities the Programme needs to address to mainstream sustainability in the sector. A major outcome of the meeting was the drafting of a regional programme of work for supporting the implementation of the programme proposal, including the prioritization and recommendations for SIDS activities in the programme and identification of potential regional partners.  

There was great uptake and support of the proposed programme areas and the key activities identified as priorities in the region.