50 civile organizations and over 500 personalities from 19 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, have endorsed the Berlin Declaration on “Transforming Tourism", which will not only encourage and support information and debates on tourism development, but it will also require concrete and imperative actions from political and local actors. ECPAT Albania, which for years has been committed to sustainable development and an equal and inclusive world, also endorsed the Declaration.
The declaration is based on concerns that the current tourism model is unable to support the necessary transformation of the world, as envisaged by the SDG Agenda 2030.
Transforming our world is not possible without transforming tourism. The Berlin Declaration requires the achievement of a fair, just and equal world and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda depends on political will and a critical review and further development of existing governance processes, business practices as well as the commitment of travellers, media, education and civil society.
The statement also requires on local, national, and international governments to ensure participation by civil society and tourism-affected communities at all levels of planning, decision making, business, destination management, and in monitoring processes.
Local communities should benefit from tourism revenues by developing coherent monitoring mechanisms regarding the contribution of tourism towards achieving the vision of Agenda 2030 to strengthen the positive and reduce the negative impacts. Gender equality integration, community empowerment, corporate accountability, etc. should also be implemented.
The Berlin Declaration on "Transforming Tourism" also requires tourists to take responsibility for their travel choices by respecting the host communities and their culture, paying close attention to scarce local resources, supporting the local economy and ultimately respecting human rights.
The declaration encourages, whether a tourist, tour operator, political decision maker or host community, to contribute to the transformation of tourism.
Future generations will judge us by our actions. Now is the time for change.