Open letter to UNWTO regarding Draft Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics


The UNWTO is in the process of transforming the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism into an international convention. In an open letter to the General Secretary the Roundtable welcomes UNWTO’s efforts in this regard. A UN Convention creates an international, legally binding framework for responsible development within the tourism sector, which governments and businesses have to follow.

However, the Roundtable expressed the concern that the process seems rushed and intransparent as it did not leave any room for interventions by small and medium enterprises or civil society organisations and affected communities. Without a serious review of the content of the Code of Ethics and a strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda as well as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the added value of such a convention remains questionable.

The Roundtable criticises that the conciliation mechanism of the convention is planned to be isolated from the convention itself. It should be included in an optional protocol, which member states have to ratify additionally. This is a serious step backwards in the process of the implementation of ethics in tourism and threatens the credibility of the convention. The Roundtable reaffirms its serious commitment to work jointly with UNWTO and offers to contribute to an open and productive review process of the draft convention at any time.