A World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) report aims to help businesses understand and manage their impact on biodiversity. ‘Nature Positive Travel & Tourism’, created jointly with ANIMONDIAL – a key advisor to global travel and tourism on animal and nature protection – and in collaboration with global businesses within the sector, has also been endorsed by Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD).
Nature tourism represents 20 per cent of global tourism, while wildlife, a primary motivator for nature tourism, contributes US$343 billion to the global economy every year, supporting nearly 22 million jobs around the world.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, said: “Human activity has resulted in a devastating loss of natural habitat and biodiversity, with one in four species now facing extinction. Travel and tourism is uniquely placed to make a real difference. Eighty per cent of travel and tourism is highly dependent on nature, so it is crucial we take a proactive role in advancing conservation.”
Daniel Turner, ANIMONDIAL Co-Founder and Director, said: “Most travel and tourism businesses we talk to already understand the needs to include the protection of biodiversity and nature in their planning and reporting. But this can be a complicated area, and for many, the first challenge is simply knowing where to start. The report will inform, inspire and empower travel and tourism to better manage their impacts and play a leading role in building a global Nature Positive future to help build a better world.”
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Executive Secretary, said: “Much of the travel and tourism sector relies on the beauty of nature and the resources it provides. Yet we are losing biodiversity and natural resources at an unprecedented rate. Travel and tourism is in a unique position to contribute to this reversal by implementing a number of measures, such as educating and raising awareness; generating revenue streams that sustain the protection, management and restoration of ecosystems; and reducing footprint activities, amongst others.”
To tackle this, the report offers a roadmap based on a four-phase framework, with practical steps to guide the sector in adopting a Nature Positive approach: assessing operational impact, setting out a strategy, identifying essential actions, rolling out and reviewing the programme, and harnessing communication opportunities.
To read the report in full, please click here.