Viajes El Corte Inglés in Spain has signed the Private Sector Commitment to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, a key element of tourism enterprises’ efforts in the field of corporate social responsibility.
With more than 1.2 billion international travellers in 2016, tourism has become one of the most powerful catalysts for the development of countries. Its capacity to create employment — 1 out of every 11 jobs worldwide is generated by the sector — to promote environmental protection and to create synergies between nations makes it a vital tool of the 2030 Development Agenda.
In this context, the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism constitutes an important roadmap to guide the increasing responsibility of all actors involved in the preservation of the environment, culture and local communities.
“The addition of Viajes El Corte Inglés to the roster of companies committed to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is one of the most significant milestones of 2017, particularly when we are celebrating the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
Viajes El Corte Inglés is also one of the companies participating in the project carried out by UNWTO and the Global Compact on tourism and the Sustainable Development Objectives (SDGs).
The Code includes principles such as respect for human rights and cultural heritage, the protection of the environment and the most vulnerable communities, as well as concepts such as inclusiveness, gender equality and accessibility. “This is a universal document that contains moral values that all societies of the twenty-first century have accepted as fundamental,” said the Secretary-General.
For his part Juan Luis Vassallo Saavedra, Director of Legal Affairs and Secretary of the Board of Directors of Viajes El Corte Inglés, explained: “Sustainability means much more than reforesting or practising philanthropy. It is a reaffirmation of our strong link with the society we form a part of and, above all, a way of creating lasting value.”
The Code of Ethics, which is currently undergoing a process of conversion into an international convention, was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001 with the intention of inviting Member States to apply ethical principles relating to tourism. To date, 493 companies and associations from 67 countries have signed the Commitment.