Useful Sources of Information
There is a wide range of information available on many sustainability topics and at different levels, often including guidance and examples. A selection of sources is listed below, which provide both general and specific information. The material is largely accessible online and some may be downloadable. The information is globally applicable as well as including references and examples from Africa.
General and primary sources
These international organisations, partnerships and networks provide an insight into global policy, concerns and actions on tourism sustainability in general, including information and reports on sources of guidance on a range of topics.
WTTC is the global representation body for travel and tourism. www.wttc.org
- In 2019 WTTC launched its sustainability action plan (0SCARS) to lead the travel and tourism sector towards greater action on sustainability. It also established the Sustainable Travel and Tourism Partners Initiative (STTP) for tourism-related businesses that commit to being carbon neutral by 2050. Businesses will be recognised at basic, certification, or best-practice level.
- WTTC regularly publishes reports on sustainability that are relevant to tourism businesses. Recent titles have included: Sustainability reporting for businesses; Climate and environment action; Wildlife tourism (economic impact and zero tolerance policy); Destination stewardship (managing overcrowding).
- Past finalists for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, run by WTTC until 2019, provide many practical examples of creative approaches to sustainability, including in Africa.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. www.unwto.org
- The Sustainable Development of Tourism is a major pillar of UNWTO’s work. This covers international policy on tourism and sustainable development. Information and reports are available on a range of topics, such as biodiversity, climate change, resource efficiency and tourism resilience.
- Tourism for SDGs is an interactive information platform developed by UNWTO on how tourism can contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It is a sharing and learning platform containing news items, stories, events, case studies, projects and information resources, with material aimed at companies, destinations and travellers.
- The One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme is a multi-stakeholder partnership, led by UNWTO, that promotes knowledge sharing and networking opportunities to better implement sustainable consumption and production in the tourism sector. Partners include international bodies and private companies. The programme disseminates information on a wide range of topics and initiatives.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) serves as the international body for fostering increased knowledge and understanding of sustainable tourism practices, promoting the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles and building demand for sustainable travel. www.gstcouncil.org. It is supported by UN bodies, NGOs, governments and leading travel companies.
- The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, established and managed by GSTC, provide the global baseline standards for sustainability in travel and tourism. Two sets of criteria are available, for industry and for destinations, which cover sustainability management as well as socio-economic, cultural and environmental impacts. As well as providing the basis for certification, they set out clearly what businesses and destinations need to address in pursuing sustainability.
- The GSTC also provides information, events and training on sustainable tourism issues. Tourism businesses, bodies and destinations can become members of the GSTC.