coral and climate

Driving Environmental Action for Travel & Tourism

The world is facing a triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. Travel & Tourism has a particularly large stake in the game - over half of the sector’s demand is driven by the desire to explore nature and it is one of six economic sectors with over 80% of its goods and services highly dependent on nature. It is critical that Travel & Tourism players shift towards more sustainable and circular business models. And by doing so, Travel & Tourism, with its extensive supply chains and ability to generate revenue for conservation, can play a particularly important role in addressing these challenges. WTTC is therefore working with its Members and key industry stakeholders to provide the sector with the tools and guidance to ensure that Travel & Tourism is equipped to fulfil its potential as a catalyst for positive change.

Circular economy

Rethinking single use plastic products SUPPs in Travel & Tourism cover

Rethinking single use plastic products (SUPPs) in Travel & Tourism

COVID-19 has led to a proliferation of single-use plastic products (SUPPs), adding urgency to the global challenge of single-use plastic pollution, which has significant environmental impacts and negatively affects the attractiveness of destinations. Yet, the pandemic has also provided a unique opportunity to reflect on the changes required to build back a greener and more sustainable future. While the Travel & Tourism sector is increasingly implementing SUPP elimination strategies with the aim of moving towards more circular approaches, individual efforts are not enough. In order to ensure a transition towards reducing and reuse models, in line with circularity principles, it is vital for the public and private sectors to collaborate across the value chain, while implementing the right waste infrastructure at the destination level.

As part of WTTC’s partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and in order to tackle this issue, we have put together a joint report to support the sector to reduce or eliminate SUPPs where possible and move towards a more sustainable future.

Hear from industry leaders on why the report is important, as well as, an interview with one of the writers Jo Hendrickx, Co-founder of Travel Without Plastics.

WTTC x Harvard Learning Insights: Circular Economy

WTTC x Harvard Learning Insights: Circular Economy

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY is a restorative industrial economic model, in which the economy should work as a self-sustaining ecosystem. Materials, components, and products are considered ‘nutrients’ that should be used for as long as possible, and then fed back into the cycle.

As an economic system, a circular economy can help tackle global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution through a restorative model inspired by the natural world.

Read more with these insights.

Nature Positive

Nature Positive Travel & Tourism in Action

Nature Positive Travel & Tourism in Action

The first publication from the Nature Positive Tourism Partnership – the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), UN Tourism and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance – provides insights, guidance and a wide range of case studies to inspire and empower businesses to identify and reduce impacts on nature and invest in protecting and restoring biodiversity. It adds to the previous WTTC publications on the topic – the 2022 “Nature Positive Travel & Tourism” report and accompanying “Toolbox of Nature Positive Resources” (below).

Nature Positive Travel & Tourism: Travelling in harmony with nature

Nature Positive Travel & Tourism: Travelling in harmony with nature

This report from 2022 shows how Travel & Tourism can play a critical role in halting and reversing the destruction of nature, with a focus on helping businesses understand and manage their impact on biodiversity.

The report includes a thorough, non-technical introduction to key issues in global biodiversity protection and restoration. It explains how commitment to halting and reversing nature loss is critical for the sector as a whole and beneficial for individual businesses. It also presents the Nature Positive Tourism Roadmap – a step-by-step framework for integrating the Nature Positive Tourism approach in any business.

Biodiversity & illegal wildlife trade cover

Illegal Wildlife Trade

In recent years there has been a surge in the illegal wildlife trade amounting to US$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.

In April 2018, WTTC launched the Travel & Tourism Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT), 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.

In 2021, WTTC created industry guidelines for Members and the wider industry to encourage the adoption of a Zero Tolerance Policy to IWT.

Biodiversity & illegal wildlife trade cover

Economic Impact of Global Wildlife Tourism

This research quantifies the importance of wildlife tourism to build greater awareness of its value and showcase the need for protection among policymakers and government budget holders. While the Travel & Tourism sector accounts for 10.4% of global GDP, wildlife tourism represents 3.9% of this figure, or $343.6 billion; a figure equivalent to the entire GDP of South Africa or Hong Kong. Of equal significance is the fact that around the world, 21.8 million jobs or 6.8% of total jobs sustained by global Travel & Tourism in 2018 can be attributed to wildlife.

See case studies and learn more in this report about the economic impact of Global Wildlife Tourism


Water Roadmap for Travel & Tourism cover

Water Roadmap for Travel & Tourism

Discover the impact of the Travel & Tourism sector on water use at a global and regional level in this ground-breaking, data-rich report from WTTC and Accenture. The report also provides a framework for businesses to reduce their water footprint and increase water resilience.

Other key publications

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