World Tourism Organization and Spain come together for First International Congress on Ethics and Tourism


UNWTO and Spain have come together to organize the First International Congress on Ethics and Tourism to address some of the most pressing ethical issues currently facing the tourism sector (September 15-16, Madrid, Spain).

As one of the largest economic sectors in the world, tourism creates jobs and wealth for millions but can also pose serious challenges. Against this background, the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism – a set of guidelines and principles for the international tourism sector – was designed to minimize any negative impacts of tourism activity on destinations and host communities.

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The Code of Ethics will set the tone for the debates at the upcoming International Congress on Ethics and Tourism, with sessions focusing on responsible tourism, fair tourism and poverty reduction, equality, and exploitation. The role of the private sector in responsible and sustainable tourism will also be addressed, with a session on corporate social responsibility featuring leading tourism companies.

“The Spanish Council of Ministers has officially accepted the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and is committed to disseminating it among the public and private tourism sectors. In order for its impact to be as wide-reaching and international as possible, we are collaborating with UNWTO to fully achieve our objectives,” said Spain’s Secretary General of Tourism and Domestic Trade, Joan Mesquida.

“We are extremely happy to be partnering with Spain to organize this landmark event. It will open an important debate on issues which are key to achieving a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector; a sector investing in green practices, gender equality, and ethical behavior,” said UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai.

The Congress will be attended by leading figures representing the international community, ethics experts, and members of the tourism public and private sectors including Michela Brambilla, the Minister of Tourism of Italy, which hosts the World Committee on Tourism Ethics. The Congress will count on the support and participation of the European Commission and will be officially closed by members of the Spanish royal family.