UN Sustainable Development Goals WTTC

Sustainable Growth

The growth of Travel & Tourism continues to outpace that of the global economy for the ninth consecutive year. What’s more, international arrivals, which reach 1.5 billion in 2019 are forecast to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. It is essential, that together, we ensure that this growth is sustainable and inclusive, and that it contributes positively to the communities, natural ecosystems and cultural heritage upon which our sector depends.

WTTC’s work in the area of Sustainable Growth focuses on seven key areas: 
  1. Climate & Environment Action - Raising awareness of the impact of climate change, minimising our contribution to it, and encouraging climate neutrality by 2050.
  2. Sustainable Travel & Tourism Partners - Creating a platform for mass engagement around sustainability our sector to share sustainability best practices.
  3. Sustainability Reporting - Encouraging and supporting the sector to measure, monitor and report their Environmental, Social and Governance activities.
  4. Destination Stewardship - Promoting best practices in the planning and management of tourism growth to ensure our sector is a win-win-win for the destination, the private sector and the local communities. 
  5. Future of Work - Ensuring that the sector remains a driver of quality jobs and continues to enhance its attractiveness to the workforce of today and tomorrow.
  6. Illegal Wildlife Trade - Promoting industry action to support global efforts to tackle illegal wildlife trade.
  7. Human Trafficking - Raising awareness of how our sector can prevent Human Trafficking and providing a forum for collective action.


Climate & Environment Action 

In the past few years, there has been a growing consensus about the dramatic pace of climate change and its devastating impacts. Many destinations are already reeling from its effects, and the risk appears greatest to countries where tourism growth is projected to be strongest. Given the importance of Travel & Tourism to the global economy, the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and the growing imperative to address climate change in a meaningful way, 

WTTC has teamed up with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to work towards a carbon neutral world by communicating the links between Travel & Tourism and climate change, raising awareness of the positive contribution our sector can make to building climate resilience and reducing the contribution of the sector to climate change. 

To that end, WTTC and UNFCCC will initiate a sector-wide dialogue on climate change, convening industry leaders, climate experts and others to identify how the sector can contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and to develop cooperation models under UNFCCC to facilitate such action.

WTTC is a signatory to the UNFCCC Climate Neutral Now initiative and is committed to becoming climate neutral by 2050, as enshrined in the Paris Agreement

WTTC Climate & Environment Action Initiative

Sustainable Travel & Tourism Partners (STTP) 

The Sustainable Travel & Tourism Partners (STTP) initiative aim to create a mass engagement around sustainability within our sector, by bringing together all Travel & Tourism companies that engage in significant sustainability efforts under the same umbrella to further increase sustainable practices within the sector, as well as to raise awareness of those practices and to record progress with consumers and governments.   

To become a Sustainable Travel & Tourism Partner, the applicant will need to commit to being Climate Neutral by 2050. The STTP will involve a three-stage recognition process, whereby the applicants will go through various stages of evaluation to assess their sustainability engagement and commit to make improvement where necessary.

Register your details for more information.

WTTC Sustainable Travel & Tourism Partners (STTP) Initiative

Sustainability Reporting 

The UN Sustainable Development Goals set a path towards the pursuit of global sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Goal 12 focuses on sustainable consumption and production, with the goal, 12.6, aims to “encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle”.

In this context, WTTC produced a report on sustainability reporting to help Travel & Tourism companies understand the key concepts behind reporting, to provide an outlook on the regulations and trends that are driving this practice forward and to identify the implications and opportunities for the sector.

Destination Stewardship 

The growth in Travel & Tourism over the past few years has seen many destinations around the globe become victims of their own success with terms like ‘overcrowding’, ‘overtourism’ and ‘tourismphobia’ dominating media headlines worldwide.  

WTTC believes that Travel & Tourism should and can contribute positively to the communities upon which it depends, while protecting cultural and natural heritage. In this context, WTTC convenes stakeholders from the public and private sectors, as well as local communities to devise strategies for tourism management based on long-term planning.  

In 2017, WTTC and McKinsey & Company produced one of the first major analyses of the issue, setting out a framework for assessing ‘overcrowding’ in destinations and identify specific solutions to drive positive change.

Most recently, in 2019, WTTC and JLL produced its ‘Destination 2030’ which considers city readiness for Travel & Tourism growth, as well as providing solutions to foster the sustainable growth of the sector. 

Future of Work 

The Travel & Tourism Sector accounts for 330 million jobs or one in ten jobs on the planet, a figure which is only forecasted to continue increasing. What’s more, in the last five years, the Travel & Tourism sector has accounted for the creation of one in four new jobs globally.

For the Travel & Tourism sector to support 421 million jobs by 2029, the sector must be able to successfully attract, upskill and retain qualified talent. The evolution in the Travel & tourism space, along with shift taking place across the global workforce, will require businesses and governments alike to pay special attention to talent models.

In this context, WTTC is collaborating with Deloitte, to explore how the reimagination of our travel experience and our desire to be a driver of quality jobs is transforming the future of work.

WTTC Future of Work Initiative

Illegal Wildlife Trade 

In recent years there has been a surge in the illegal wildlife trade amounting to $20 billion annually, with over 7,000 species of animals and plants from all regions impacted. With wildlife being a key driver of Travel & Tourism activity, it is in the interest of the sector to support initiatives that protect them. 

WTTC aims to provide a coordinated, high level approach for the sector. In April 2018, WTTC launched the Travel & Tourism Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade, a commitment made by over 100 Members to participate actively in the global fight against illegal wildlife trade. Following the declaration, in October 2018, WTTC partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to drive industry action. WTTC is currently creating industry guidelines for Members and the wider industry to encourage the adoption of a Zero Tolerance Policy to IWT. What’s more, WTTC with partners including Google and Ctrip.com are working on an ambitious plan to use digital technology and the power of the Travel & Tourism signatories’ distribution networks to change the behaviour of 1 billion travellers.

Join the movement by contributing content, funding, data and your networks to make every journey count. 

Human Trafficking 

As one of the world’s largest industrial sectors employing 330 million people around the world and responsible for the movement of people, Travel & Tourism has the power and a responsibility to make a difference in the fight against Human Trafficking across our companies’ supply chains. In recognition of this, WTTC launched its Human Trafficking Taskforce at the 2019 Global Summit in April in Seville, Spain, with the aim reduce human trafficking and provide a forum for collective action across the sector. 
The Taskforce will facilitate information exchange and to coordinate efforts across the private sector, while strengthening cooperation with the public sector and civil society. It will focus on prevention, protection, action and support.


If you would like to engage with WTTC in the fight to end Human Trafficking or to learn more about our activities in this area, please get in touch.

WTTC Human Trafficking Ban Initiative