Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
Since 2001, an increasing number of tour operators, hoteliers and other tourism service providers have signed the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (see p. 17). At the same time, this "child protection code" has become an undisputed component of CSR and sustainability certification in tourism. This year, the world's leading travel and tourism trade fair, ITB Berlin, will also formally sign the Code. If ITB then also publicises this step and recommends it to the exhibitors and business partners with a clear expectation of getting them on board, it will be an effective contribution to the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
With this special English issue of TourismWatch, during ITB and beyond, we would like to provide momentum to a human rights approach in tourism. When we finalised our human rights study "Alles was Recht ist - Menschenrechte und Tourismus" (see p. 2-4) late last year, the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and the political changes in the Arab region were not yet to be foreseen. These developments have also brought to light the entanglements of the military and the old ruling elite with the tourism sector. This raises the question whether tourism after the revolution can still remain the same as before, and whether the political democratisation would not need to be followed by an economic one. Bargain offers and "booking helps" appeals alone will not be sufficient to ensure a democratisation of tourism and a more equitable distribution of income and influence.
Much remains to be reflected upon in the world of global tourism, some of it will be discussed in fora and at events at this years' ITB in Berlin. Critical consumer and responsible travellers may look forward to the first Fair Trade certified package tours to South Africa, newly introduced by tour operators in Switzerland and Germany and to be presented at ITB (see ITB events, p. 18).
We are looking forward to meeting you personally in Berlin, at our stall in hall 4.1, or at any of our events at ITB.
Heinz Fuchs Christina Kamp
This special issue of the German quarterly TourismWatch, published by the German Church Development Service (EED), is intended as a contribution to the discussion on human rights and tourism. It is published on the occasion of ITB 2011 and carries a selection of articles published over the past few years.
You will also find all these articles and more in our website http://www.tourism-watch.de, which has been upgraded to include an English section. It regularly brings you abstracts and articles from the German TourismWatch, which is published four times a year. To receive e-mail notifications of new TourismWatch issues, you are welcome to join our mailing list. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.