The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) states "Sustainable Tourism refers to sustainable practices in and by the tourism industry. It is an aspiration to acknowledge all impacts of tourism, both positive and negative and it aims to minimise the negative impacts and maximise the positive ones."
At ATTA we have developed a Charter for Sustainable Tourism because we believe that sustainable tourism is vital to the survival of tourism in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, and this is why we ask all our members to follow the below as a starting guildeline.
Why an ATTA® Charter for Sustainable Tourism?
As part of our deepening commitment to increasing sustainable tourism practises across Africa, the ATTA® Charter for Sustainable Tourism aims to support our membership by providing a guiding framework for good sustainable practices within tourism businesses and organisations.
Sustainability challenges are becoming more apparent and urgent, notably in Africa, especially in relation to climate change, pressure on resources, communities and threats to endangered species.
The African tourism product is highly dependent on the conservation of wildlife and the preservation of a rich cultural identity, accessed through authentic visitor experiences.
Visitors are also expressing increasing concern about sustainability issues in the destinations they are choosing and the services they are purchasing. Those organisations and businesses that demonstrate a concern for the wellbeing of local people, wildlife and the environment reflect a sense of responsibility which carries credibility and value.
Engaging in sustainability supports a quality, caring and authentic brand position.
There is also an increasing interest in sustainability issues amongst younger employees in the travel sector with a desire for more action, which is important for staff morale, retention and recruitment.
The aims of the Charter
The ATTA® Charter for Sustainable Tourism identifies 10 principles as a basis for policies and actions that address the economic, social and environmental impacts of tourism.
The ATTA® Charter also recognises and supports the internationally agreed global framework for sustainable tourism provided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.
By establishing an ATTA® Charter for Sustainable Tourism our aim is to:
- Ensure that all ATTA® members are aware of a set of key sustainability challenges for tourism in Africa that should be addressed by tourism businesses.
- Offer our members best practise principles, a template and recognised framework to work from and build off.
- Encourage ATTA® members to increase the range and impact of their actions to enhance the sustainability of their operations, leading to continuous improvement
- Identify, celebrate and disseminate good practice across the membership so we can continue to learn from one another as a community and share knowledge and experience.
- Develop a set of tools to support ATTA® members in pursuing the aims of the Charter.
- Ensure the brand image of ATTA® as an organisation is equated with sustainable as well as high quality visitor experiences of Africa