A worldwide drive to stop the illegal wildlife trade has been back by more than 100 travel businesses, associations, media outlets, NGOs and destinations.
The organisations have all signed the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Buenos Aires declaration on illegal wildlife trade, which was first launched in April.
Its aim is make travel and tourism businesses work together towards a common goal of changing the perceptions and behaviour of travellers in regards to the illegal wildlife trade.
The WTTC and WWF has created a partnership to deliver on the priorities set out in the Buenos Aires declaration, including the development of zero tolerance policies and industry guidelines, sharing best practice and driving consumer awareness.
The WTTC, WWF and other partners, including Google and C-trip, are also working on plans to use digital technology and the distribution networks of the declarations’ signatories to change the behaviour and opinions of travellers.
To further support this issue, the WTTC has launched a new “Changemakers” category in its annual Tourism for Tomorrow Awards programme to showcase companies who are leading the way in fighting illegal wildlife trade through tourism.
Applications for entries closes November 14.
Speaking at the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Conference in London yesterday (October 11), Gloria Guevara, president and chief executive of the WTTC, said “Travel and tourism generates 313 million jobs each year and accounts for 10% of the world’s GDP.
“Wildlife is a key driver of tourism activity and job creation, particularly in countries across Africa, Asia and South America and protecting endangered species is vital for the sustainable future of our sector and those whose livelihoods depend on it. In addition, with 1.3 billion international travellers each year there is an enormous opportunity to educate our consumers on how they can support the global fight against illegal wildlife trade.”