People starting out at a sunset

Social Impact of Travel & Tourism

WTTC believes that Travel & Tourism should and can contribute positively to the communities upon which it depends while protecting cultural and natural heritage. Destination stewardship is an approach that balances and meets the needs of a destination and its community. It requires active engagement from both public and private sectors with the local community, and is essential for futureproofing Travel & Tourism against environmental and economic shocks. In this context, WTTC convenes stakeholders from the public and private sectors, as well as local communities to devise strategies to enable inclusive and sustainable growth, based on the principles of public-private-community collaboration.

Indeed, with the rapid growth in Travel & Tourism over the past few years seeing many destinations around the globe become victims of their own success with terms like ‘overcrowding’, ‘overtourism’, and ‘tourismphobia’ dominating media headlines worldwide, there has never been a greater urgency to ensure that the sector embraces its role as destination stewards, making destinations better places to live and visit.


The Social Impact of Global Tourism cover

The Social Impact of Global Tourism

This report from WTTC and the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), and supported by Oxford Economics, examines the social footprint of the Travel & Tourism sector globally, broken down by age, gender and wage.

Creating Belonging: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging in Travel & Tourism cover

Creating Belonging: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging in Travel & Tourism

This report provides a meaningful guide on how to navigate and promote Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging within the Travel & Tourism sector. The qualitative analysis educates readers on the nuances around DEIB terms, while the quantitative analysis of the DEIB metrics defines the present landscape in a few key markets around the world.

Inclusion, Diversity & Social Impact cover

Inclusion, Diversity & Social Impact

Read our high-level guidelines, were compiled to support Travel & Tourism businesses of all sizes, provide an inclusive work environment for all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, ability, including physical, mental, and/or sensory impairments, first language, socio-economic status, citizenship and/or country of origin, faith, religion or spiritual affiliation, age or marital status.

The guidelines are divided into four pillars, namely:

  1. Developing a Supportive System
  2. Creating Safe Spaces
  3. Supporting an Agile System
  4. Exemplifying Inclusion & Diversity

community conscious travel

Community Conscious Travel

Community Conscious Travel is WTTC’s latest global campaign to raise awareness and inspire action to protect the delicate balance between resident quality of life, traveller experience, and the environment of the destinations we love. Together, we aim to help ensure communities understand the positive social impact Travel & Tourism can have and leverage this power to thrive and grow sustainably.

Human Trafficking cover

Human Trafficking

Every day, the Travel & Tourism sector is unwittingly used for human trafficking as traffickers transport their victims on planes, trains and buses and book hotel rooms to exploit vulnerable individuals. Given the sector’s inadvertent position in the path of human traffickers, it has a role and responsibility to protect the individuals it serves, transports, accommodates, and employs; and is in a unique position to make a difference.

Given the importance of this issue and the dedication of many World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Member organisations to end human trafficking, WTTC formed a Human Trafficking Taskforce which was launched at the 2019 Global Summit in Seville, Spain. To help eradicate human trafficking, the Taskforce developed an action framework that focuses on awareness-raising, education and training, advocacy, and support.

Future of work

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 shifts taking place across the global workforce, will require businesses and governments alike to pay special attention to talent models.


Sustainability Reporting cover

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 Framework cover

Destination Stewardship Framework

In 2021, WTTC, European Tourism Futures Institute (ETFI) at NHL Stenden University and The Travel Foundation produced the latest report on Destination Stewardship focusing on “Achieving Destination Stewardship through Scenarios & a Governance Diagnostics Framework”.

The report presents four Destination Stewardship scenarios based on different levels of engagement from the public & private sector and provides a framework for assessing the governance model in place to serve to support destination stakeholders in assessing their current context and the pathway towards greater stewardship.

Destination 2030: Global Cities’ Readiness for Sustainable Tourism Growth cover

Destination 2030: Global Cities’ Readiness for Sustainable Tourism Growth

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and JLL have once again joined forces for the second addition of Destinations 2030, which provides cities across the globe with insights, a framework and recommendations to grow their Travel & Tourism sector resiliently. This comprehensive analysis assesses 63 cities worldwide across 75 indicators in the tourism readiness index, defining a framework for five city typologies. The report highlights the top 10 cities and best practice case studies across 8 pillars including Leisure, Business, Environmental Readiness, Safety and Security, and Policy Prioritisation.

Destinations and policymakers can learn from the comparative data and the experiences of others to inform their decision-making, successfully anticipate challenges and enhance their long-term resilience.

Managing Overcrowding in Tourism Destinations 2017 cover

Managing Overcrowding in Tourism Destinations 2017

Overcrowding is a complex issue and in this report, we aim to provide a toolkit—context, best practices, and tactics to consider—to help destination leaders and planners develop their own approach and build a path forward. Sites, cities, regions, and countries can reap the benefits of tourism while preserving the unique qualities that make them worth visiting in the first place. Regardless of the individual tactics, destinations must continually engage all stakeholders. Managing overcrowding is a journey, not an end point, and engaging the interested parties along the way matters just as much as the actual actions taken.

enhancing resilience cover

Enhancing Resilience: To Drive Sustainability in Destinations

This report aims to provide practical, structured inspiration to destinations as they think about resilience and sustainability. It looks at what is tourism resilience and how does it support sustainability goals in destinations and how are destinations addressing resilience priorities. The report includes destination focused case studies and recommendations.

Sustainability Leadership cover

Sustainability Leadership

Since 2019, WTTC has been collaborating with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to support decision-makers in Travel & Tourism to broaden their understanding of sustainability, ensure the viability of the sector and the co-creation of thriving sustainable societies. In November 2019, WTTC and Harvard organised a 2-day transformational leadership and personal development programme focusing on sustainability which brought together 20 industry leaders and leading Harvard professors.

Other key publications

As well as the above reports and initiatives some of our other key publications include:

Related events and webinars

Here are our webinars and events that are related to sustainability: