Transparency is an important aspect of responsible business conduct. Public communication on identified risks and measures taken increases a company’s credibility and accountability.
Publicly speaking about potential human rights issues and how they are being addressed also contributes to increasing awareness about challenges faced by the industry and fosters exchange and mutual learning on how to address human rights impacts as companies and as a sector.
Communication on human rights can happen through various channels, such as companies’ websites, travel blogs, newsletters, social media, customer information and corporate reporting.
Public reporting should be based on regular progress reviews and monitored with the help of human rights-related indicators to measure the effect and success of measures taken.
Providing greater clarity of information is also a key area in enabling travelers with disabilities to make fully informed decisions and understand the opportunities available. However, accessibility comes in all shapes and sizes and can also include parents with buggies, temporary injuries, and ageing-related needs. Clear information about products, services and processes will allow travelers to consider potential barriers and request adjustments or make changes easily and effectively.
The tabs below provide concrete recommendations for and examples of communication channels, reporting and monitoring mechanisms.
⇒ Click here to identify your value chain-related human rights risks
Customer information materials developed carefully and which consider potential human rights-related impacts can help avoid negative impacts of tourist behaviours in a destination. Information linked to customers’ rights should be included in such communication too. Relevant information can be integrated in travel documents, handed out to customers, added to itineraries or provided in dedicated brochures.
Depending on the human rights issues identified (see value chain risk assessment on this website), customer information can include the following topics:
Before the trip:
The British Travel Association ABTA provides an extensive Q+A section on its website on consumer questions regarding all potential aspects of holidays, including consumer rights and how and where to place complaints.
During the trip:
Diversity & Inclusion:
Diversity & Inclusion:
When choosing where to stay, in addition to looking for transparent information and explicit signs that a travel experience will be safe, LGBTQI* travelers or BIPOC travelers also look for themselves in your marketing efforts. In order to tackle unconscious bias towards certain types of travelers and to ensure your services are welcoming to people of all backgrounds and abilities, it can be helpful to conduct an internal assessment of your content and marketing strategies. Are different perspectives and abilities represented internally within your team and externally towards customers?
A key area for providing more clarity is the use of the term 'accessible'. How accessible a product or service is depends upon the barriers the individual faces. Therefore, using the term accessible is not enough but must be completed by clear and detailed information regarding the facilities (e.g. step-free access, hearing loops, adjustable bed heights, alternative formats, accessible transportation or quiet zones).
Integrate information on the human rights issues deemed most salient (see value chain risk assessment on this website) by your company, including the way they are addressed (action plan) in the company’s annual reporting. This should include information on the company’s human rights policies and processes (see related measure card), measures taken throughout the year and how they are monitored (performance indicators).
If sustainability reporting has already been conducted, it is recommended that human rights aspects are integrated or strengthened in the already existing system. In addition to the internal processes, the impacts of supply chains and business relations should also be reported.
For standardised reporting, one the following recognised standards may be used:
Many certification schemes such as TourCert cover human rights aspects and tour operators might cover human rights related aspects in their reporting to achieve a certification.
Introductory video on the UNGP Reporting Framework.
Find examples of Modern Slavery Statements in the Modern Slavery Registry online (in compliance with UK Modern Slavery Act).
For an example of an Inclusion & Diversity Report, have a look at the 2020 Inclusion & Diversity Report and the UK 2020 Gender Pay Gap Report of Expedia Group.
Guidance on reporting frameworks:
Public reporting should be based on regular progress reviews and monitored with the help of human rights-related indicators. The effect and success of measures taken should be measured. Integrate indicators into the action plan for the purpose of steering and result checking.
Exemplary human rights-related indicators for tour operators can be found in the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism’s implementation guideline on human rights for tour operators (see link below).
Find more information in the Resource Centre.