Taleb Rifai
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO/OMT)

In 2015 tourism set a new record with 1.2 billion international tourists travelling throughout the world in one year.

This figure reflects the strength of the tourism sector, which currently accounts for 1 in 11 jobs worldwide, 7% of global exports and 10% of GDP, thereby contributing to economic growth and development in many societies.

Spain is a clear example of this. For more than twenty years it has been among the top five destinations worldwide according to data compiled by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Tourism is the number one export sector in Spain and generates 13 out of every 100 jobs in the country.

«In order for the sector to be able to continue to grow sustainably and provide greater benefits to society, it is essential to operate in a responsible manner.»

We need to promote an inclusive tourism sector that provides decent working conditions for all, promotes culture and local products, and protects our natural resources, thus preserving the unique attractions of each destination.

As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon said: “Everyone has a role in sustainable tourism. Every action counts. This year, one billion international tourists will travel to foreign destinations. Imagine what one act multiplied by one billion can do.” 1

At the World Tourism Organization and Global Compact Spain we are aware that companies play a key role and we want to support them in establishing a more sustainable and responsible business model that contributes to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals that mark our common agenda for the next 15 years.

To this end, we want to highlight how Spanish tourism companies are making a commitment to responsible tourism by implementing the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism of the UNWTO and those of the Global Compact and thus making a difference in society and in the sector.

There is great diversity of initiatives that can contribute their part towards our common goals. We want to work together in order to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) in tourism an example to follow and thus contribute to building a more sustainable, and at the same time, a more competitive sector.

Taleb Rifai
Secretary General
World Tourism Organization (OMT/UNWTO)

1 Message from the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon on World Tourism Day 2012, 27 September 2012 mensaje-del-secretario-general-de-la-onu-ban-ki-moon

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