Tourism is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economic sectors. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It promotes the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) contributes to the building of a culture of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. One of its most notorious programs is the World Heritage, which seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world.
International Council of Museums (ICOM)
The council is a network of almost 30,000 members and museum professionals who represent the global museum community from 137 countries. ICOM carries out several missions such as fighting against illicit traffic in cultural goods, risk management, promotion of culture and knowledge and protection of tangible and intangible heritage. ICOM works with INTERPOL to fight against the illicit traffic of cultural goods.
Based in the UK, the NGO fights exploitation in tourism. It works with partners in over 20 destination countries to ensure that tourism always benefits local people. Their campaigns include water equity, land grab, international volunteering, work conditions and sex tourism.
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
Founded in 1990, TIES has been in the forefront of the development of ecotourism, providing guidelines and standards, training, technical assistance, research and publications. TIES’ global network of ecotourism professionals and travelers is leading the efforts to make tourism a viable tool for conservation, protection of bio-cultural diversity, and sustainable community development.
Global Sustainable Tourism Council
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is leading a worldwide movement to establish global standards for sustainable tourism—harnessing the power of the world’s largest industry to alleviate global poverty, and to preserve destinations and the communities that surround them, for generations to come.
It is the world’s largest certifier of sustainable travel and tourism operators. With more than 1000 clients in over 70 countries, the environmental management program responds directly to the challenges posed by climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management. It provides a benchmarking, certification and performance improvement system that results in average savings of 30 per cent for energy and waste stream, and 20 per cent savings for water consumption.
Hostelling International (HI)
The organization represents over 70 Member Associations worldwide. It has over 4 million members and 4,000 great hostels in 90 countries worldwide. Hostelling International is committed to sustainable development with its own Sustainability Charter. Its mission is to promote the education of all young people of all nations by encouraging in them a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside and an appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities in all parts of the world.
UNODC is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime, including human trafficking, smuggling migrants and sex tourism. The UN agency works with Interpol to enhance law enforcement capacity for national and transnational action to identify and effectively act upon travelling child-sex offenders.