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Tourism at the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Change New Powerful Players are more than UNWTO or WTTC


While a new Spain and Saudi led travel and tourism coalition wants action not declarations, the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action was signed this week.

  • More than 300 tourism stakeholders have signed up to the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action this week, which recognizes the urgent need for a globally consistent plan for climate action in tourism.
  • While the UNWTO propaganda machine was hoping to also turn this climate change event into lobbying WTTC to endorse its Secretary-General for the upcoming re-election confirmation process later this month, WTTC made clear it was not endorsing anyone.
  • The world of tourism however is united when it comes to climate change. Some bring delcaration, others focus on more serious action, but Climate Change is now the focus in a new re-launch of the travel and tourism industrty with and after COVID-19.

According to a statement received by eTurboNews from the World Travel and Tourism Council, WTTC, the Glasgow Declaration is an initiative led by a coalition including UNEP, Tourism Declares, the Travel Foundation and supported by UNFCCC.

It is not just UNWTO led, according to this WTTC statement.

WTTC has strong relationships with most UN bodies including the above, additionally, we have a strong commitment to Climate Change and our Members wanted to show leadership by endorsing the ambition of the declaration at a crucial moment.

Many WTTC Members like Accor, Iberostar, and others signed the declaration, and therefore it was important for WTTC to add its voice to support the ambition towards net zero and the commitment to support its Members to develop Climate Action Plans.

However, the WTTC support voiced at the Glasgow Convention was in no way related to the UNWTO Secretart-General election or any political process, as it was translated in some comments seen on social media postings close to UNWTO.

According to social media postings seen on UNWTO supporting sites, the Glasgow Declaration was developed through the collaboration of UNWTO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Visit Scotland, the Travel Foundation, and Tourism Declare a Climate Emergency, within the framework of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme committed to accelerating sustainable consumption and production patterns.

The Tourism Industry wants to be part of the solution to dangerous climate change, said the Saudi Tourism Minister, speaking at a new global tourism alliance headed by Saudi Arabia and Spain earlier this week in Glasgow.

UNWTO however was not part of this Saudi and Spain led initiative of powerful stakeholders and governments. The pledge at that initiative, was action, not only resolutions.

In addition at the recently concluded Future in Investment Conference (FII) in Saudi Arabia, the result was an agreement on Saudi Arabia and Spain joining forces to redesign tourism post-COVID including through the UNWTO.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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  • You have fundamentally missed and misrepresented the point of the Glasgow Declaration. It is all about action. Declarants are committing to reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and must produce action plans within 12 months of signing, then report annually on their progress.

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