The Future of Tourism – in Action!

This month, we are celebrating the launch of the new report Nature Positive Travel & Tourism in Action. Published by the Nature Positive Tourism Partnership, and prepared by ANIMONDIAL, this represents a watershed moment for the sector.

Following on from the 2022 Nature Positive Travel & Tourism report published by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), also prepared by ANIMONDIAL, this new document takes a giant step forward. More than a blueprint for change, it is a handbook for sector transformation.

Firstly, it is delivered by a collaboration of industry bodies at the highest international level – the WTTC, UN Tourism and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. This partnership is critical for mobilising the entire sector. Businesses can be limited in their ability to realise Nature Positive Tourism if government policies and strategies do not support them. At the same time, government attempts to change their tourism frameworks face countless problems if the private sector is not aligned and co-operative.

Through the Nature Positive Tourism Partnership we now have a road map for the entire sector, public and private, to chart a course to a nature positive future for Travel & Tourism.

Secondly, this report focuses on action. The 2022 report laid out the urgency of the global need to act for nature, the particular relevance of this issue to Travel & Tourism, and the recommended strategic approach for businesses in the sector (the Nature Positive Tourism Roadmap). This report moves on from there to grapple with the specifics of putting these principles into practice.

In doing this, it is guided by the results of an industry-wide consultation that ANIMONDIAL led last year on behalf of the Nature Positive Tourism Partnership. This was a multi-stage process involving over 50 experts from the public and private sectors, civil society and academia. It compiled the sector’s best understanding of its nature-related risks and impacts as well as the challenges and opportunities it is likely to encounter in realising Nature Positive Tourism. (A review of the outcomes of the consultation is available here).

With these insights as a guide, the new report provides practical guidance for businesses of all sizes and types (and for public sector bodies as well). This includes a ‘Biodiversity Basics’ tip for every stage in the Nature Positive Tourism Roadmap, explaining how businesses with limited capacity can easily but effectively begin their nature positive journey.

It also includes over 30 diverse case studies from around the world, illustrating real-world approaches to all the key areas of action. These case studies are what really bring Nature Positive Tourism to life. Every business will face different challenges, but the message of these inspiring stories is that solutions can be found, new ideas and new models are waiting to be explored, and the power of Travel & Tourism to be a Guardian Of Nature is only just being discovered.

With apologies to Winston Churchill, this report is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.

A lot of work still needs to happen across the sector – within individual businesses, government bodies, associations, alliances and beyond. We will continue to do that work and to help others do it. We plan to support the Nature Positive Tourism Partnership as they roll out an ongoing programme of events and resources, expected to include webinars, further case studies and representation for the sector at the level of global biodiversity policy.

As you can tell, we are very happy to have played a part in bringing this report to the sector, and to the global business community. Nature Positive Tourism materials are already used by Business for Nature in their sector-specific guidance, which encourages similar initiatives in several key business sectors. It is fitting that Travel & Tourism – which inspires so much love of nature and has such influence over what happens to it – should be among the most progressive in this field.

As lovers of both nature and travel, we believe in a future where the two can co-exist, supporting and enhancing each other. Reading this report, we can see this future come into focus – and we hope everyone else who reads it will too.

Please take a moment to download the report and see how it can inspire you.