Manifesto for a Sustainable, Solidaty and Socially Responsible

We, the participants at the second edition of the Sustainable & Social Tourism Summit, held in the city of Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, pronounce the following Manifesto for the purpose of laying the groundwork for sustainable, solidary and socially responsible tourism.

That tourism is one of the most dynamic activities worldwide, and that all sectors related to this activity generate major social, environmental, and economic impacts, both positive and negative.
That, as indicated by international organizations, tourism paves the way for ease of travel and efforts to promote destinations and tourism; consequently, its ensuing impact will rise in the short and mid-term.
That several declarations and pledges, including the Montreal Declaration “Towards a humanist, social vision of tourism”, the Global code of ethics for tourism, and the Chengdu Declaration on “Tourism and the sustainable development goals”, all underscore that this activity – when well-planned, designed and managed – can become a driver for development, a tool for the preservation of heritage, an engine for universal inclusion and accessibility, and a means to ensure an exchange of cultures and promote peace.
That both visitors and local inhabitants exhibit a growing interest in sustainability and recognize that their actions, small as they may seem, can lead to major change.

That the challenges of tourism must be faced from a multilateral perspective and through a systematic vision.
That access to leisure and tourism is a universal right, therefore accessibility and inclusion must be the priority for all those involved in the development of policies, programs, and the infrastructure for activities related to tourism.
That decisions regarding the development of tourism must embrace the opinions of all stakeholders, especially those of the inhabitants of tourist destinations, for they are the ones who will receive the benefits and impacts of this activity in the mid and long term.
That some phenomena, such as overtourism, that promote the accelerated growth of tourism are not needed or desired for all destinations.
That, while it is true that investment in tourist destinations fosters positive impact at the macroeconomic level, it is necessary to ensure that these are reflected in local economies, especially those of small producers.
That the communities – owners of the territory in question − shall find activities related to tourism to be an alternative to improve their own economies, preserve their resources and transmit their cultural heritage.
That jobs related to tourism must guarantee the satisfaction of workers’ needs, as well as their protection and full development.
That the promotion of tourism may serve not only to attract visitors, but also to promote in the latter as well as in the local community an individual and collective agreement to ensure sustainability and social responsibility.

To − together with global institutions, development agencies, governments, business chambers and organizations, civil society groups, universities and research centers, business leaders and entrepreneurs, local communities and the population at large − to work toward achieving sustainable, solidary and socially responsible tourism.
To redefine success indicators for tourism, taking into account criteria encouraging the conservation of ecosystems and social well being, recognizing that “more” is not always “better”.
To improve local governance models, involving the local population in decisionmaking processes as well as the follow-up, monitoring and participatory management of activities at the destination.
To engage local producers – small and medium enterprises – in the tourism value chain through equitable conditions that promote the development of local economies through the consumption of short distance, sustainable products.
To encourage preservation models for natural and cultural heritage in nature tourism (ecotourism, adventure tourism and rural tourism) and tourism in protected areas, establishing limits on visitation and ensuring the distribution of benefits for the inhabitants of said regions.
To guarantee accessibility and inclusion for all people, regardless of their social condition, making tourism for all a common principle to be incorporated in all sector policies, programs and companies.
To analyze the current situation of employment in tourism, understanding the conditions that prevail in many of the sector’s companies, and encourage alignment of their public and private practice with international guidelines on decent work and socially responsible tourism.
To embrace travel and its promotion as an opportunity for personal enrichment and for the creation of awareness regarding the heritage that is the object and support of tourist destinations, the impact of activities carried out and the manner in which tourism can take place in a more responsible fashion.

Be spokespersons for this Manifesto and relay its content to our colleagues, partners and allies whenever possible.
Seek advice and continue to learn so that we may become leaders who forge change in the conception, planning, design and management of tourism in our regions.
Influence policy to improve the conditions of tourism activities, whether public or private, practiced in our region, our countries and our communities.
Continue encouraging networks for collaboration that will enable us to share experiences and find solutions in timely manner to improve governance and respond to the social, economic and environmental challenges posed by tourism.
Lead change toward attaining sustainable, solidary and socially responsible tourism and use the Sustainable & Social Tourism Summit as a platform to share ideas, actions and progress.
Be responsible travelers, making decisions on where, how and why we travel, as well as generating local benefits during our travels; in addition, we will measure, reduce and compensate for negative impact at the end of our travels.

Tourism for Development
Quintana Roo, Mexico, March 2018.


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